WASHINGTON: Pakistan has been honoured with a prestigious US award for taking necessary measures for eradication of tuberculosis from the country.
Pakistan and the United States are closely cooperating in the health sector which includes enhancing Pakistan's capability to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani said.
During an event organised by the USAID in Washington DC, Jilani, who received the TB Champion Award 2016, conveyed profound gratitude on behalf of Pakistan while stating that it was an international recognition of the country's national achievements in combating tuberculosis.
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"It is a matter of satisfaction that our immunisation programme under the Global Health Security Agenda is being strengthened to prevent, detect and respond to threats of the infectious disease and has a road map in place with the support of Center for Disease Control," the ambassador added.
Pakistan currently harbours the fifth largest burden of TB in the world and the government in 2001 had declared tuberculosis a national health emergency.
As a result of concerted efforts, currently Pakistan has one of the highest rates of success in treatments across the world.
Under the National TB Control Programme over 3 million TB cases have been diagnosed and treated free of cost in about 1,300 public sector TB care facilities during 2001-2015.
According to Jilani, Islamabad and Washington are closely cooperating in the health sector and that bilateral health ties was discussed at the high level between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Barack Obama in October, 2015.
"The two countries have affirmed their commitment to fully implement the Global Health Security Agenda, with a view to advance global cooperation across sectors to counter biological threats," he said.
Further, the diplomat expressed gratitude towards USAID which is working closely with Pakistan to improve the health and well-being of the people of Pakistan.
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USAID has been a longstanding partner of Pakistan. Its programmes target the poor and most vulnerable areas, where communities often lack access to comprehensive and reliable health service delivery systems.
USAID continues to be a key partner of Pakistan's National TB Control Programme. USAID's health programmes are increasing access to family planning services, improving maternal and child healthcare, controlling major infectious diseases, providing safe drinking water, and strengthening the capacity of our institutions.
Jilani expressed the confidence that with the support of its partners, international as well as national organisations and private sectors, Pakistan will not only succeed in controlling tuberculosis but its eventual eradication.
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