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PR No. 103 Islamabad: May 16, 2018

Federal Minister National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar said that we took office we were confronted with the major challenge of redefining the roles and responsibilities of the federal Government in the health sector in the light of 18th constitutional amendment. We accepted the challenge and worked hard with the provincial governments in not only supporting them in their new role but also effectively carried out the task of standardization and regulation of health services alongside mobilizing resources from international partners to support major initiatives being implemented by the federating units. While she was addressing the Inauguration of Refurbishment of National Institute of Health Islamabad by the Prime Minister today in Islamabad. Minister said according to our mandate, the Ministry has also been coordinating public health and population welfare at national and international levels for fulfilling international obligations and commitments; providing oversight for provincial and national health regulatory bodies; enforcing drug regulations and regulation of medical education and professionals. Minister said that it was also my mission Honorable Prime Minister, to transform National Institute of Health so it attains the role and standing it truly deserves both nationally and internationally. NIH is a national asset and has enormous potential. The uplift of NIH I was confident will contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals and serve our people. Minister said one of our major targets was reviving the production of measles vaccine at NIH. This was critical in backdrop of growing incidence of the disease and epidemics of the disease in different parts of the country. With concerted collective effort we were able to achieve this objective. Minister said another major issue was upgradation of laboratory facilities, a task that had been successfully undertaken. By Allah Almighty’s grace BSL-3 laboratory that conforms to global standards was our first initiative at NIH.Today, the institute is undertaking successful implementation of five years road map of International Health Regulations and Global Health Security Agenda alongwith implementation of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System in the country. Minister said the NIH that you see today is entirely different from the institute we found in 2013. The organization was sadly becoming decadent, quality standards were on a nose-dive besides being faced with serious financial crisis that threatened its sustainability. Like in other areas in the health sector, we accepted the daunting challenge of uplifting this vital institution and today it gives me immense happiness that we have fulfilled yet another promise made to ourselves and our people. Our Government has strengthened institutions, made them viable so that they can contribute effectively in improving the lot of our people. She said I would like to extend special gratitude to you Honorable Prime Minister for giving special consideration to budget proposals for next fiscal year related to the health sector. Minister said though health is a provincial subject, the federal government cannot absolve itself of its responsibility. New initiatives announced in the next budget will be of critical importance in supporting the provinces in arresting malnutrition and disabilities. Minister said that we have come a long way and served our people to the best of our abilities. Our performance in every area of the health sector speaks for itself. We would be going back to our people and seek their support based on our performance alone. Many stumbling blocks were placed in our way by those who did not want us to perform but we stood our ground by Allah Almighty’s help and continued our mission on the path of progress and prosperity of our people. ***** ?

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