Prioritizing health & education most effective way to improve socio-economic status: President

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President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said the involvement of various segments of a community including mosques, academia and health workers was important for the effective implementation of social development initiatives, particularly health and education.

Addressing here at the launch of ‘Strengthening of Social Health Protection under Sehat Sahulat Programme’, he said communities could bring about social change using these platforms and improve quality of life by adopting collective solutions to address their common needs and problems.

The event, jointly organized by Health Services Academy, Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, and German Development Agency focused on the government’s health initiatives including Sehat Sahulat Programme partnered by the German government for the last 14 years.

President Alvi said prioritizing education and health programmes was the most effective way to improve the socio-economic status of people, alleviate poverty and protect families from falling into it.

He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf since its inception had envisioned transforming Pakistan into a socio-welfare State.

The president said Sehat Sahulat Programme was aimed at providing free of cost health insurance, initially to families living below the poverty line end subsequently to the rest.

He said the universal health insurance would prove as a big cushion for the citizens who faced costly medical treatment.

He expressed satisfaction that GiZ (German Development Agency) was working on improving the programme implementation and expansion and lauded Health Services Academy for winning the contract of third party assessment.

Dr Alvi said the nation had emerged resilient by dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic successfully and emphasized the same responsible approach in handling several other diseases.

He said various challenges required a preventive mode to address them including hepatitis, polio, malnutrition, stunting, maternal health, child mortality, diabetes and obesity.

Dr Philip, Deputy Head of Mission at the German embassy said Germany was proud to assist Pakistan in reaching its goal of social health protection.

For the last 14 years he said, the German Development Agency provided technical assistance on Sehat Sahulat Programme with an objective to improve the health services in Pakistan.

Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid said Pakistan as a signatory to universal health targets was committed to addressing the challenge of health-related services for its huge population.

She said the government acknowledged the role of partners, academia and health management for effective implementation of health facilities.

Vice Chancellor Health Services Academy Dr Shahzad Ali Khan said the objective of today’s launch was developing a ‘strategic purchasing’ policy framework for social health protection.