Minister: (Health Minister makes strong case for CDC support to disease surveillance in Pakistan)

September 6, 2015 Off By Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar, currently visiting Centres for Disease Control, USA, made a strong case in her deliberations with CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden seeking crucial support for upgrading Pakistan’s Public Health Laboratories and strengthening surveillance system to bring it at par with international standards.

According to a press releases issued here on Monday, communicable diseases outbreaks are rampart in the country and we need to act fast to strengthen our surveillance system to be better prepared to deal with this major public health challenge. Surveillance system in the country needs to be responsive and cater to our needs.

The Minister said, in tandem, laboratories are required to be upgraded to allow for high tech diagnostic facilities disease. She said there is a time lag in sending samples for tests abroad bedsides pressure on our limited resources.

She visited Centres for Disease Control Atlanta alongwith delegation including ED NIH, secretaries health Sindh and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. She was received by Dr Tom Freidan the head of CDC and his team.

She was briefed about functioning of CDC and its role in controlling epidemics like Ebola. She also was shown the “Disease surveillance” system in US and other departments of CDC.

Pakistan has applied for two large grants from CDC for up gradation of public health laboratories and immunisation support in Pakistan. The visit of delegation was linked to final approvals of the grants. CDC will be helping Ministry of National Health Services in HR development and Polio campaigns as well.

The Minister expressed her desire to establish a robust disease surveillance system in Pakistan which could respond to all sorts of emerging threats and mount an effective response. Dr Tom Freidan appreciated the ongoing efforts in Pakistan and assured full support of CDC in coming years.