Washington, D.C., 26 July 2022 (TDI): The United States and Pakistan held the US-Pakistan Health Dialogue at the US Department of State to further strengthen and aggrandize bilateral cooperation in the health sector.

The US delegate was jointly led by Atul Gawande, Assistant Administrator for Global Health at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and Loyce Pace, Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

They were accompanied by representatives from the Department of State, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While the delegation from Pakistan was led by the Federal Minister of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination, Abdul Qadir Patel. He was accompanied by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Directorate of Immunization, and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.

The US-Pakistan Health Dialogue provided a framework for sustaining and enhancing sectoral engagement in the health domain.

The epicenter of the dialogue was establishing a Pakistani CDC, global health security, children’s vaccines, COVID-19, maternity and child health, and non-communicable illnesses.

Consequently, both parties recognized potential areas of cooperation and developed an action plan to accomplish their common objectives.

Investments in Pakistan’s health sector

During the dialogue, the United States announced that in addition to the 61.5 million doses of adult vaccines already supplied, it would donate 16 million doses of pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan in collaboration with COVAX.

Furthermore, USAID also plans to contribute an additional $20 million to the immunization campaign. The dialogue also emphasized the US government’s $4.6 million donation of four mobile testing labs to Pakistan’s National Institute of Health through USAID.

Certainly, these laboratories will improve Pakistan’s capacity to diagnose COVID-19 and other contagious diseases, particularly in isolated and underserved regions.

In addition, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared the successful transfer of the Field Epidemiology Training Program to the government of Pakistan.

Moreover, it will build on this initiative and other ongoing investments to support and coordinate effective disease surveillance and response systems.

Conclusively, The Health Dialogue exemplified the close and strengthened ties between US and Pakistan and illustrates the breadth and depth of the bilateral relationship, which marks its 75th anniversary this year.