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Pak committed to achieving MDGs: PM

02 May, 2007

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said that Pakistan is committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to health sector including reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating polio, hepatitis, tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS.

The Prime Minister was talking to Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General, World Health Organisation, who called on him at the Prime Minister's House on Tuesday afternoon.

The Prime Minister said WHO is an important development partner of Pakistan and the government of Pakistan is appreciative of WHO's enormous financial, logistic and technical support to Pakistan over the years especially for the earthquake in 2005.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan has adopted a holistic approach to improving country's health profile and is focusing on the preventive side by employing the mass media to create awareness among the general public.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan is fully committed to the total eradication of polio and our efforts have been quite successful in this respect.

The Prime Minister said that the government has also launched a countrywide programme against hepatitis and has allocated Rs. 2.59 billion for the purpose. He said the government will shortly launch an ambitious programme aimed at improving maternal and child health especially in far-flung and rural areas.

The Prime Minister said that the government is not the only provider for healthcare in the country as it gets significant help from philanthropists making it a truly public-private partnership.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan will continue to closely associate with the various global initiatives launched by the WHO both on preventive and curative sides.

The Prime Minister congratulated Dr. Margaret Chan on her election as Director General with an overwhelming majority of the UN members.

Dr. Margaret Chan said that she was very impressed by Pakistan's commitment to improving public health especially its programme to eradicate polio and its institution of Lady Health Workers which she saw during her visit to the NWFP.

She said that WHO will like to benefit from Pakistan's experience and the successful model adopted by it to deal with the earthquake in 2005.

Dr. Chen also informed the Prime Minister that WHO is trying to make itself more effective and focussed and will be guided by the recommendations made by the High Level Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General on UN reforms which was co-chaired by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The Meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Health Mr. Muhammad Nasir Khan, Secretary Health and senior officials.

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