PM for global fund to ensure health security

Kakar stresses need for strong, visible, active surveillance and tiered public health laboratory system

APP January 11, 2024
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar. PHOTO: APP


Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Wednesday stressed the need to explore the mechanisms for global funding that could support nations in need, ensuring that no one was left behind, in the global pursuit of health security. “The call for a sufficiently funded, widely supported country medium-term roadmap, as highlighted in the International Health Regulations Core Capacities evaluation, resonates globally.

We must invest in open, transparent, and multi-sectoral processes to strengthen buy-in and commitment at all levels,” the prime minister said while addressing the inaugural session of the first ever two-day Global Health Security Summit 2024. Highlighting the importance of enhancing coordination in health sector beyond the borders, Prime Minister Kakar said a “One Health” approach, recognized the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.

“Our commitment should extend to establishing global frameworks that facilitate information sharing, joint research, and collaborative strategies for an effective response during emergencies.” He stressed the need for a strong, visible, active surveillance and tiered public health laboratory system that was integral to early detection, response, and mitigation.

PM Kakar also called for collaboratively working towards establishing international standards for food safety, harmonising regulations to ensure the highest level of protection for populations worldwide. “A cross-sectoral approach to managing antimicrobial resistance requires international collaboration,” he said, adding, “We need a unified front against antimicrobial resistance, with coordinated efforts to develop and enforce global standards for the responsible use of antibiotics and infection prevention,” he remarked.

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Highlighting the need of collective response to address external and internal health challenge, he said no state in the world could meet the health challenges all alone. Likewise, he said the internal challenges posed by population growth, rapid urbanization and climate change could not be dealt with by a country alone.

“New diseases, like COVID-19 and climate induced incidents such as historic floods of 2022 in Pakistan are disrupting our citizens’ health and causing social and economic impacts. While the developed world have systems in place to timely respond to such health emergencies, a similar ideal system is lacking in the developing world as health systems are relatively weak,” the prime minister added.

He said the Covid pandemic had taught us invaluable lessons about the importance of collaboration, preparedness, and a unified response. “It is in this spirit that we convene today, not merely as representatives of our respective countries, but as overseers of global health security.” He called for establishing a shared vision of the world where health security was not a privilege but a universal right and where the strength of a nation’s health systems was measured not only by its capacity to respond to crises but also by its ability to prevent, detect, and mitigate health threats.

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“In pursuit of this vision, we must recognize that health security extends beyond the realm of traditional healthcare. It encompasses multispectral collaboration, as highlighted in the “Joint External Evaluation of International Health Regulations Core Capacities,” where the interplay of health, environment, agriculture, and security is crucial. Our collective vision is not just about reacting to crises but forging a proactive, precipitated and interconnected global health ecosystem.”

As regards the challenge of climate change, the prime minister said the global Climate Risk Index identifies Pakistan as the eighth most vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change. “As echoed in the “Framework for Climate Resilient Health Systems Pakistan”, we must integrate climate resilience into our health policies and systems. This is not a challenge confined to borders; it is a shared responsibility that necessitates a collective response,” he added.

He said the cost of climate injustice in Pakistan was 33 million affected population, 17,000 deaths, and economic loss of more than 30 billion USD. The prime minister hoped that the summit would mark a huge moment in the journey of the global progress towards a healthier world besides ensuring a future where health is truly a global asset. He also appreciated Minister for National Health Services Dr. Nadeem Jan and his ministry for the tireless efforts to organize the event successfully. 


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