GHD/EMPHNET and Partners Explore Collaboration Opportunities in the Area of Global Health Security within Pakistan
Between May 15 – 17, 2018, a visit was made by a GHD/EMPHNET delegation to the National Health Institute of Pakistan (NIH) where its members met with the NIH Executive Director Dr. Aamer Ikram. During this meeting, both parties identified collaboration opportunities in line with existing and planned national efforts. To this end, GHD/EMPHNET expressed its interest in supporting the NIH activities in the area of emergency response, and especially in details pertaining to capacity building, online learning, and stakeholders’ communication.
Furthermore, the delegation toured the NIH’s Public Health Laboratories Division; the Field Epidemiology, and Disease Surveillance (FEDSD) Division where they met officials from the IHR Coordination Section; Pakistan’s Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP); and the National Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Network (NHEPRN).
This visit coincided with the inauguration of the refurbished building of the NIH to which GHD/EMPHNET has been graciously invited to attend as one of the NIH’s collaborators. This event witnessed the inauguration of the NIH’s Emergency Operation Center, the Measles Production Unit, and the Vector Borne Laboratory, as well as other departments.
Its ceremonial proceedings were chaired by the Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and were conducted in the presence of the Minister for National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarrar and the Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhary. This event was attended by health officials from the provincial and central levels as well as partners from the regional and the international community.
On the sidelines of this visit, other meetings were held with government officials and partners in Pakistan.
First, the GHD/EMPHNET delegation met with the General Secretary of the Ministry of National Services and Regulations and Coordination Mr. Naveed Kamran Baloch. During this meeting, future opportunities for collaboration were discussed.
To discuss an ongoing project, which is supported by GHD/EMPHNET, for enhancing animal brucellosis surveillance in Pakistan, the delegation also met with the Chairman of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Dr. Yusuf Zafar and with officials from PARC’s largest research Centre, the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC).
Finally, meetings were conducted between the GHD/EMPHNET delegation and officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) country office and Public Health England’s office in Pakistan. During these meetings, partners’ vision and engagement in strengthening the Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC) were outlined.