ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s caretaker health minister, Dr. Nadeem Jan, has said the South Asian country would hold a global health security summit in November this year, Pakistani state media reported on Saturday.
The comments by the minister were made at an inter-ministerial health and population council meeting in Islamabad, at which officials pondered over the summit which would be the first of its kind in the history of the South Asian country.
Jan said the summit would help Pakistan finalize its strategic roadmap to effectively tackle health emergencies and epidemics in the country, the state-run Radio Pakistan broadcaster reported.
“Leaders, top experts, and stakeholders from across the world will be invited to participate in the summit,” the report quoted the minister as saying.
Pakistan, a country of more than 240 million, witnessed major outbreaks of vector- and water-borne diseases following disastrous floods last year, which inundated a third of the South Asian country.
More recently, health authorities reported outbreaks of dengue and chickenpox in the country’s eastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
A poor health infrastructure in the South Asian country, already facing an economic crisis, hampers its abilities to effectively control diseases in case of major outbreaks. Pakistan is also one of the only two countries in the world where polio remains an endemic.
Emphasizing the need to develop integrated strategies for disease eradication, Jan said the agenda of the global summit was the top-most priority of his government, according to the report.
He said his ministry would ensure all possible support to control infectious diseases in the country.