Health Minister makes a strong case for CDC support to disease surveillance in Pakistan

September 07, 2015

 Islamabad, the 7th September, 2015:- Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar currently visiting Centres for Disease Control, USA, made a strong case in her deliberations with CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden seeking crucial support for upgrading Pakistan’s Public Health Laboratories and strengthening surveillance system to bring it at par with international standards,

Communicable diseases outbreaks are rampart in the country and we need to act fast to strengthen our surveillance system to be better prepared to deal with this major public health challenge. Surveillance system in the country needs to be responsive and cater to our needs.

The Minister said, in tandem, laboratories are required to be upgraded to allow for high tech diagnostic facilities disease. There is a time lag in sending samples for tests abroad bedsides pressure on our limited resources.  

Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar visited Centres for Disease Control Atlanta alongwith delegation including ED NIH, secretaries health Sindh and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. She was received by Dr Tom Freidan the head of CDC and his team. She was briefed about functioning of CDC and its role in controlling epidemics like Ebola. She also was shown the "Disease surveillance" system in US and other departments of CDC.

 Pakistan has applied for two large grants from CDC for up gradation of public health laboratories and immunisation support in Pakistan. The visit of delegation was linked to final approvals of the grants. CDC will be helping Ministry of National Health Services in HR development and Polio campaigns as well. The Minister expressed her desire to establish a robust disease surveillance system in Pakistan which could respond to all sorts of emerging threats and mount an effective response. Dr Tom Freidan appreciated the ongoing efforts in Pakistan and assured full support of  CDC in coming years. 

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is United States’ premier health promotion and prevention agency and has vast experience in  fighting infectious diseases.

The organization is providing critical support to Pakistan’s health system in the realm of disease control and prevention. CDC also works with several key public health institutions in Pakistan to strengthen capacity and infrastructure for public health.