Last updated when July 28, 2020 7:01 a.m.

The government ensures the provision of essential health services throughout the country: Mirza

ISLAMABAD (APP) – The government is working to ensure the provision of essential health services throughout the country with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Polio immunization has resumed in a number of high-risk districts, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza said this when chairing an online meeting with WHO and UNICEF representatives on Tuesday. “We are at a critical point in the pandemic today, witnessing a significant reduction in the number of cases, and there is no way to overcome lethargy or satisfaction, as observed during the Eid-ul-Fitr days.”

He added that not only did the COVID-19 outbreak affect the lives and health of people throughout the country, but it also adversely affected the delivery of important public services including health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation. Mirza said that everyone in Pakistan has a role to play to protect themselves and their loved ones from viruses. The aim is to avoid repetition of surges in Coronavirus transmissions following Eid al-Fitr in May by closely observing standard operating procedures against a pandemic.

He said the Ministry of National Health Service, Regulation and Coordination, UNICEF and WHO had appealed to the public to strengthen compliance with COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures and to strictly enforce the main preventive behavior against Coronavirus. “We are now at an important stage of our joint struggle against Coronavirus, which Prime Minister Imran Khan and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr. Zafar Mirza have led since March, along with partners and dedicated frontline health workers,” said Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. “It is very important that we all adopt some of the behaviors that are key to saving lives and preventing the spread of the virus among our families and communities.”

He added, “The more we adhere to this behavior, the sooner we can resume normal lives and provide children and families with the essential services they need, such as immunization against preventable diseases, nutrition to maintain lifelong problems such as stunting and waste, and education to help children and young people build their futures and their communities. “WHO appreciates the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to continue providing essential health care services in the context of COVID-19 with the support of all partners, especially WHO and UNICEF,” said Dr. Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan.

He added, “Immunization against polio and vaccine preventable diseases has been successfully initiated in many districts.” Mahipala said, “WHO greatly admires the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Minister of Health Dr Zafar Mirza in combating the COVID-19 epidemic in Pakistan.”

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