Islamabad, 8 January 2024 (TDI): In an audacious move to depoliticize global health issues, Pakistan is set to propose a bold initiative at the upcoming Global Health Security Summit, particularly in light of the Gaza situation, where Israel has destroyed hospitals and left Palestinians without basic medicines, said a healthcare minister on Friday.
He shared the agenda of the two-day global health security summit, which will be held in the upcoming week on Wednesday.
The summit will bring together global leaders, international organizations, and civil society activists to promote collaboration. It will also result in developing consensus among the participating nations on solutions contributing to a safer world and healthier future generations.
“We want that health should remain apolitical, and that should be one theme of this summit that we would like to echo and resonate with everybody, especially in the context of Gaza,” Caretaker Health Minister Dr. Nadeem Jan stated.
The healthcare minister stresses the accessibility of healthcare facilities globally to every individual, regardless of their religious, ethnic, and ideological associations.
Pakistan’s relief efforts for Gaza
Pakistan called for an immediate end to the bombing and victimization of innocent civilians in Gaza. Additionally, we emphasized the need for comprehensive healthcare interventions from all available sources to address the needs of the people.
“The United Nations or any other country should be provided access to those places and to those people who are in need of medical attention, and the protection of health facilities and health workers should be ensured,” he stated.
In response to the continuous bombing by Israeli warplanes in densely populated Gaza neighborhoods, Pakistan has dispatched three shipments of relief goods. Despite global appeal for a cease-fire, Israel’s actions have resulted in the deaths of more than 22,000 people in the Palestinian territory, predominantly women and children, since October 7th.
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There are at least 500 Pakistani doctors and paramedics who are willing to treat victims of the atrocities committed by Israel. However, there are concerns about their entry and ensuring their safety in the region.
Around 70 international experts, officials of health ministries, and representatives of international agencies were invited to the global summit. An international charter would also be signed.
Pakistan expands health capabilities through Global ties
Pakistan was working on technology transfer from Saudi Arabia for salt production, which serves as the foundation for various medicines.
“Because we don’t have that capacity in Pakistan, therefore, we import it, and this generates a huge import bill for active pharmaceutical ingredients, which are vital for various medicines,” he informed.
“They are coming to the summit, and hopefully we will go for a formalized approach toward that investment,” the minister said.
Additionally, he expresses optimism about creating formal mechanisms during the summit to facilitate the export of healthcare professionals, including doctors and paramedics, to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
While talking about the new wave of COVID-19, he informed that our country had taken initiatives to enhance screening at all points of entry to prevent new cases of infection.
“We can confirm that there is no single case of JN.1 here,” the minister said. Moreover, a testing strategy will be implemented for international passengers in order to avoid any threat of the virus spreading across the country.