Pakistan offers all-out help for Afghan health needs

M Waqar Bhatti
Sunday, Nov 28, 2021

KARACHI: The Pakistani health authorities and drugs manufacturers have assured all support to Afghanistan in meeting health needs of their people by providing medicines, medical equipment, medicines and trainings to their staff and facilitating chronically sick patients at Pakistani health facilities, the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS,R&C) officials said on Saturday.

“We have assured the high-level delegation from Afghanistan, which was led-by their Minister of Public Health Dr. Qalandar Jihad that all possible support would be extended in making Afghan hospitals functional, training of their staff and provision of medicines,” an NHS official told The News.

The Afghan delegation comprising officials from the Afghan health ministry met the NHS, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and officials from other institutions on Friday in Islamabad while the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) also assured of providing free medicines and other medical supplies to Afghanistan within a week.

The NHS officials said Pakistan will help the Afghan authorities in making three hospitals functional, which have been established by Pakistan in Kabul, Jalalabad and Logar, for which 80 percent of the equipment has already been purchased and being transferred to Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan is at the moment in desperate need of medicines for their people as due to economic conditions, they are unable to buy medicines. We have assured them that they would be helped in this regard,” the official said, adding that Pakistani healthcare institutions would also help in training the Afghan healthcare workers and doctors.

Similarly,the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Islamabad, officials assured the Afghan delegation of its readiness to train the Afghan doctors in different specialties, adding that at least 10 doctors were already doing their postgraduate fellowship trainings at PIMS.

The Health Services Academy (HSA), Islamabad, also assured the delegation that they would be ready to train the Afghan healthcare officials in different areas of public health and offered to help establish a public health academy or even the campus of HSA in Kabul subject to better law and order situation.

The Afghan delegation, led by their public health minister Dr Qalandar Jihad, also called on Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Dr. Fasial Sultan and sought his support in rebuilding and keeping their health institutions functional. They also requested increase in number of doctors posted at Chaman and Torkham borders to facilitate a large number of Afghan citizens, who wish to enter Pakistan for medical treatment and also suggested establishment of hospitals in the border areas between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA), which hosted a dinner for Afghan health delegation in Islamabad, offered to donate two containers full of medicines to Afghanistan worth Rs100 million and said they could also set up their manufacturing units in Kabul.

“On the request from the Afghan people and government, we assured them that when they would be going back to their country, two containers full of medicines and medical supplies would be sent along them. The estimated cost of medicines to be provided to Afghanistan would be around Rs100 million”, Qazi Mansoor Dilawar, Chairman PPMA, told The News.