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WHO caps off successful project with a ceremony courtesy Japan’s support

Akhtar Shaheen Rind

ISLAMABAD: WHO Pakistan capped off a successful project with a ceremony thanking Japan for their vital support. Held at the WHO Islamabad Office, the event celebrated the “Rebuilding Together” initiative that revitalized healthcare infrastructure in flood-stricken areas. Japan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Wada Mitsuhiro, and other dignitaries joined to celebrate the successful completion of the Project.
The devastating monsoon rains that struck Pakistan between mid-July and mid-August 2022 resulted in unprecedented flooding, impacting millions of lives across Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh provinces. Over 600,000 people were displaced, 1.9 million houses damaged, and extensive agricultural losses incurred.
The healthcare infrastructure was severely affected, with over 2,000 health facilities damaged. The financial assistance from the government and the people of Japan enabled WHO to timely respond to communicable disease outbreaks and enhance access to essential healthcare through revitalization of damaged healthcare facilities.
In a collaborative effort to strengthen healthcare delivery in Pakistan, WHO has renovated 462 healthcare facilities and provided them with essential equipment and supplies of which 240 have been rehabilitated through Japan’s assistance. These facilities are now managed by the government health authorities, ensuring continued service provision. To empower local healthcare professionals for long-term sustainability, WHO has also invested in capacity building of service providers in various aspects of healthcare delivery including disease surveillance and outbreak response.
Dr LuoDapeng, WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Pakistan,in his welcome remarks, acknowledged the remarkable support by the government and people of Japan stating, “We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support from the Government and people of Japan. Their generous contribution has been instrumental in restoring access to essential healthcare for vulnerable communities affected by the floods. This collaborative effort exemplifies the importance of international partnerships in building resilient healthcare systems.”
His Excellency Ambassador Wada Mitsuhiro appreciated WHO Pakistan’swork and support to the government of Pakistan, noting that “The government of Japan is committed to “Leave No One’s Health Behind” towards achieving the Universal health Coverage. Global Health is central to Japan’s Development Cooperation, and we consider it to be the fundamental pillar of sustainable development.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Soofia Yunus, Deputy Director General, Health, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination highlighted the timely support provided by the Government of Japan, which enabled us (Government of Pakistan) to reach millions of people in Pakistan. She expressed her gratitude to the Japanese government, while also acknowledging the crucial support provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) during the devastating floods. She further emphasized that the Ministry of National Health Services is looking forward to continuing this collaboration in future.
WHO Pakistan remains committed to working alongside the Pakistani government and other stakeholders to further strengthen the country’s health system.

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