PR No. 210 Islamabad: April 25, 2016

Directorate of malaria Control Islamabad has commemorated world malaria day on 26th April, 2016 at Islamabad. Director General Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Dr Assad Hafeez graced the occasion with his presence. Representative of World Health Organization, other ministries, vertical programs, academic institutions, private sector organizations attended the event. The Director General appreciated the efforts of the program in controlling the malaria in Pakistan. He said that this was made possible due to the support of partner agencies, donor organization and private sector. The global fund has provided support of more than 75 Million US Dollar over the last five year to implement grant. Directorate of Malaria control has remarkably reduced burden of deadly form of malaria from Pakistan, he added. Since 2001 Pakistan has made tangible progress in achieving the 5 years targets of national Rollback Malaria Project.  National strategies, policy guidelines have been fully aligned with the WHO Regional Strategic Plans. Introduction and expansion of new and effective interventions such as the use Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs), Artemesinin based Combination Therapies (ACTs) for the treatment of falciparum malaria and the promotion of Long lasting Insecticide treated bed Nets (LLINs) has brought a revolution in diagnosis, treatment and prevention program of the country, said Dr Hafeez. Government of Pakistan is planning to integrate all the vector borne disease control programs under one umbrella to achieve maximum results as the mode of spread is same. The ministry of National health services regulation and coordination has conveyed to the donor organization accordingly for their future support to the country.

Director Malaria Control, Mr. Muhammad Aslam Khan said that our role is coordination, provision of technical and material support to the provinces. He said that Directorate of Malaria control is implementing the grant in 43 high endemic districts of Balochistan, FATA, KP and Sindh. He added that with the support of Global Fund, more than 1700 diagnostic and treatment centers have been established so that each suspected case is tested and confirmed case is treated with quality drugs. More than 5 million bed nets will be distributed in 23 districts of Pakistan to achieve universal coverage, he added. Mr. Khan said that political ownership and increased investment for malaria are the key in fighting against the menace.

WHO Representative, Dr Qutb-ud-Din Kakar said that the theme for world malaria day 2016 is “End Malaria for Good”. He said that the countries around the world have made commitment to completely eliminate malaria as promised under the sustainable development goals. He emphasized on the importance of fighting till the end against this disease. Otherwise, bringing the incidence to a certain level may decrease the immunity level which then may result in more dangerous outcome if malaria outbreak is reported. Similar phenomenon was observed during last year in Punjab province, he said.

Dr Maha, Project Director The Indus Hospital has emphasized on the role of private sector in fighting disease like malaria. Public Private Partnership compliment on strengths of government to reach in areas where accessibility would otherwise have been difficult, she said.