The Government of Pakistan has authorized and initiated many health programs throughout Pakistan. This is neing done with the intention of improving the quality of life and providing the citizens with their healthcare needs. Ranging from educating health professions to ground breaking research, Here is a list of health programs in Pakistan you should know about.
Epidemics Prevention and Control Program
The epidemics prevention and control program was created in 2011, to combat the Dengue epidemic, through multi prolonged activities. The main components of the program include Disease and Vector Surveillance, Health Education, Social Mobilization and Advocacy. Other components include Institutional & Capacity Building, Research & Development for five high-risk cities.
The health program aims to combat Dengue and other epidemics with the involvement of the community and civil society community leaders. This Dengue prevention and control program was successfully implemented, and only a few hundred Dengue cases were reported. However, one death occurred because of the Dengue Syndrome in the year 2012.
Extended Program on Immunization (EPI)
The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is a disease prevention scheme aimed to target 8 diseases. These are; Poliomyelitis, Neonatal Tetanus, Measles, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Hepatitis-B, Hib Pneumonia & Meningitis and Childhood Tuberculosis.
The 8 easily curable diseases, are the cause of millions of disabilities and deaths each year in Pakistan. Newborns and children are the main targets. The extended program undergoes routine immunization checks for pregnant women and newborns, with additional supplemental immunization activities including SIAs and NIDs/SNIDs (to target those areas that are not very easily accessible). The health program also carries out disease surveillance for immediate launch of spread prevention measures as well as setting up special mopping up camps around the infected areas.
National Maternal and Child Health Program
The Health indicators table regarding maternal, newborn and children (MNC), shows a comparison between MNC Health indicators of different countries. Presently, it only highlights the fact that a huge effort is needed to improve the health status of these indicators. Therefore, improvement in the maternal and child health status is crucial to improve the healthcare situation of Pakistan.
Comparison of Maternal, Infant and Child Health Indicators
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR)
1. World Food Program Overview:
Incidentally, a collaboration between The Ministry of Health and The World Food Program (WFP) is running in 152 districts of Punjab. These include Bhakkar, Khuhasb, Mianwali, D.G.Khan, Layyah, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur. Within the scheme is a program of supplementary feeding entitled “Promoting Safe Motherhood” for pregnant women & lactating mothers.
2. IDD/USI Program Overview:
Presently, with the coordination of Micronutrient Initiative & UNICEF, The Ministry of Health is running the Universal Salt Iodization (USI) Program in the 35 districts of Punjab. It therefore aims to reduce the number of cases of Iodine deficiency. This is the World’s single most significant cause of preventable brain damage and mental retardation, stillbirths, and congenital abnormalities.
Punjab AIDS Control Program
The Enhanced HIV/AIDS Control Program has been under implementation since December 2003. The program aims to control the spread of HIV amongst the citizens of Pakistan. Presently, it focuses on creating an environment where those with HIV can access medical and social services. In addition, they can enjoy life without facing stigma and discrimination. Moreover, the program contains many components from controlling STIs, holding interventions to prevent parent to child transmission. Incidentally, it runs communication and knowledge schemes, thereby reducing the stigma that the victims face.
TB Control Program
TB bacilli affects approximately one-third of the world’s population. Consequently, Pakistan is the 8th highest TB-carrying country in the world. TB causes nearly 2 million deaths every year in Pakistan. By and large, 75% of these cases fall in the productive age group of 15 to 45 years, in Punjab. It is a contagious disease and one active untreated TB patient can infect 10 to 15 in a year. The TB Control program, started and organized by The Punjab Ministry of Health, has established more than 537 diagnostic centers. As a matter of fact, it has integrated them into the main health care system (teaching hospitals) now. Moreover, 895 Private Practitioners have been trained under the DOTS Strategy. Apart from this, 114 private labs specializing in sputum spare microscopy have been established too.
All things considered, most of these healthcare programs in Pakistan are government-led. Therefore, with more funding, we wish to see private healthcare programs gaining popularity in Pakistan in the near future.