PR No. 8 Minister Launches National Strategic Framework for Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) at an International Conference on International Health Regulation (IHR-GHSA) in Islamabad Islamabad: December 1, 2016
Government of Pakistan is signatory to International Health Regulation (2005) and is obligated to implement the eight core capacities in the country to prevent disease outbreak and provide an appropriate response in case of public health emergencies. There is a huge volume of international trade and international travel across the globe due to which disease can spread in no time. The world is now witnessing spread of outbreaks of emerging and reemerging disease having tremendous impact on health, economy and security of nations which are affected as seen during outbreaks of SAARC, H5NI,Ebola and now Zika. The magnitude and frequency of disease outbreaks, clearly demonstrate the urgent need for sustained preparedness and capacity building in all Member States.Pakistan is no exception, experiencing frequent outbreaks such as HPAI(H5NI) Dengue, CCHF with morbidity and mortality, as well as other emergencies such as floods and earthquake.
In Pakistan emergence of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) which comes under IHR is a complex phenomenon that follows use of antimicrobials and has been accelerated by inappropriate antimicrobial use. Higher consumption of antimicrobials especially antibiotics is associated with higher levels of resistance. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as one of the most serious public health problems and WHO has called it as “The greatest threat to human health”. factors responsible for AMR includes lack of knowledge on AMR, irrational/inappropriate use, lack of information and awareness on its proper use, absence of policy on antimicrobial and unregulated access and availability of all the antimicrobials over the counter without prescription. These factors are directly or indirectly related in human, animal and industrial consumption. To achieve this goal, the GoP has endorsed the strategic framework
In this background, Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination Government of Pakistan during WHO regional committee meeting held at Kuwait in 2015, committed to undergo joint external evaluation across the country, to assess the capacity of the country to implement IHR (2005) core capacities, identify gaps and give key recommendations to implement and strengthen the nineteen technical areas under prevent, detect, respond and other. Formal request by Ministry to volunteer for this evaluation was sent and WHO sent the joint mission to Pakistan from 27 April till 6 May 2016. The Joint External Evaluation report was finalized and shared with Government of Pakistan during September 2016. It was followed by a series of meetings with line ministries and departments under one health stakeholders including health, agriculture, livestock,tourism, commerce & trade, ports and shipping, shipping environment, security agencies, NDMA/PDMAs, food, forest, wildlife, PAEC, Pakistan Nuclear Radiation Authority, health development partners /UN sector, donor agencies at all the provinces/Area and national level to develop the Provincial / National Action plan for IHR 2005 including the health security aspect.
The final draft of the 5 year National Action Plan for IHR-GHSA was discussed in detail during these two days meetings with all relevant stakeholder from Federal and Provincial levels in order to finalize and agree on it. This would follow in development of monitoring and evaluation framework and costing of the plan to secure the funds from Provincial and Federal Government’s in order to implement the nineteen technical areas under prevent, detect and respond. This final plan will be shared with high level inter-ministerial forum in December 2016, with Chief Ministers and Prime Minster office for its endorsement and making the commitment for the required resources to implement IHR in the country and make country and world a safer place.