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Essentials for National Health Policy of Pakistan For: 2018 – 2038

Essentials for National Health Policy of Pakistan

For: 2018 – 2038

Dr. Faisal Khan, M.B.B.S, MPH, MCPS 

Al-Dar Hospital Madina Munawara, Saudi Arabia.

 

To achieve the most challenging goal “Naya Pakistan – Healthy Pakistan,”our new federal government has to plan systematic, immense and massive reforms across Pakistan in the health sector, with the aim to bring back top medical professionals from abroad to carry out and implement the upcoming new health policy. Federal Govt has to execute some truly effective medical teaching institutions reforms in all over Pakistan unanimously with the help and consent of all provincial governments, federal & provincial ministries of health, doctor’s associations, paramedical alliances, ministries of education, higher education commission, PMDC and DRAP. Same time there is a need to plan to introduce positive changes to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to give the country a truly effective national health policy for next 20 years, under the vision of “Healthy Nation – Healthy Pakistan”.

List of Top 8 Health Issues in Pakistan

1 – Tuberculosis
2 – Hepatitis A, B and C
3 – Dengue fever
4 – Ischemic Heart Disease
5 – Stroke
6 – Cancer
7 – Diabetes
8 – Malaria

Photo & List – Courtesy Transparenthands.org

The leadership of new Govt has to create special task force and social support groups on permanent basis to handle and look after all issues related to public health, medical teaching, health information system, medical research and also community awareness regarding health issues  in the country, along with other issues related to curriculum, quality of medical graduates and a continuous supervision of all teaching & learning process related to health sector in Pakistan.

The basic aim of these proposals to focus on the construction of an effective health policy to deal with the main challenges we are facing in the public health segment as a developing country, which demand more systemic approaches from governance, management, and leadership for the betterment of healthcare sector in Pakistan. If we have to design and construct truly an effective national health policy then it’s an essential need to keep in view the following basic facts regarding current healthcare conditions in Pakistan as per united nations and world health organization’s recent statistics.

  • The current population of Pakistan is 201,313,705
  • Maternal mortality rate: 260/100,000 live births
  • Neonatal mortality rate: 46.6l1000 live births
  • Infant mortality rate: 72/1,000 live births
  • Under age 5 mortality rate: 65.75/1000 births
  • Physicians in country: 7.8/10,000 population
  • Nurses and midwifes: 3.8/10,000 population
  • Healthcare workforce (physicians, nurses andmidwives): 11.6/10,000 population

 

Our newly elected government has to face so many challenges to designing a perfect national health policy. There is a need for radical improvement in already existing hospitals, medical colleges, healthcare institutions, dispensaries, health units, nursing colleges, LHV training centers, to make them state of the art institutions, directly responsible for providing medical & surgical treatment, nursing care and all types of healthcare facilities to the people of Pakistan. New health policy should be helpful to deal with health inequalities among urban and rural areas and also between different classes of the society.

As we know Human resources in healthcare sector are not properly and systematically planned in Pakistan, with the result that there are only 7 to 8 doctors & and only 3 to 4 nurses for every 10 thousand people. So, our new health policy should be able to deal with the problem of “brain drain” from rural to urban areas and abroad. It’s also time to scaling-up and to increase the number of public health care workers, their distribution, and to polish their capabilities. New Govt has to play its role in providing quality essential healthcare services equally in all urban and rural areas to reduce the burden of out-of-pocket expenditure derived from seeking good healthcare facilities in the private sector, for the low socioeconomic status population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a stage to develop new dimensions for a multicomponent multidisciplinary approach and also legislation through parliament to achieve the goal and to help meet the unmet demand for health services through effective rules, regulations and a better national health policy. A mandatory legislation needed to increase contact and concern with child health, vaccination programs, and also steps towards child protection, with an improvement in healthcare response to domestic violence and abuse, with an influence of awareness and education about childhood immunization & vaccination.

New health policy also has to fulfil a significant demand for women health care, especially maternal health care. Only 33 percent of births take place in a health facility, and less than two fifths (only 38 per cent) of births occurred with the assistance of a skilled medical practitioner. Pakistan has a high fertility rate of 4.2 million new births annually. This rapid population growth will further strain an already overstretched, overburdened and underperforming health care services delivery system, including deliveries by skilled birth attendants. So, there is a need for an effective family planning & population control policy as well.

The service structure for doctors, nurses and para-medical staff need to improve, currently, it is not well defined, it favours tenure over competence, it largely ignores technical capacities and does not allow encouragements, incentives or rewards for performance. The conduct of education for medical, nursing and related cadres is mostly conventional and does not utilize recent developments in the field of medical & health education. So, there is a serious need to develop a well-organized system for continuing medical education for all health providers, they should be continuously updated, supervised and should be well equipped with the latest skills to tackle emerging diseases.

The federal and provincial governments will have to clearly plan and forecast their human resource requirement for next 20 years in the health sector, according to the proposed services in the particular areas. The government should have to take vigorously short term and long term steps to achieve the balance in manpower and needs of the public health sector. Provincial health ministries must have to develop, implement, maintain and continuously update a database of health human resources, including the government sector, private sector, social support groups and different non-governmental organizations related to the health sector. Countrywide campaigns should be launched to endorse and promote the everlasting roles that of health researchers, physicians, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and social support groups should have to play in providing and delivering effective health facilities to the public.

Federal and all provincial health ministries should have to launch awareness campaigns with the help of social support groups & media to educate the people regarding advantages of: healthy lifestyle,  healthy food, balanced eating habits, family planning, anti-narcotics, importance of vaccinations, importance of healthy activities, importance of daily exercise & sports, importance of playgrounds, walking tracks, plantation, pollution control, clean environment, public parks, gyms, sports clubs,   disadvantages of: obesity, fast food, beverages, extra salty or sugary products, self-medication, all types of smoking. Moreover, awareness campaigns about seasonal diseases, infection control programs, effective health information system, emergency mobile units, ambulance services, medical Insurance, school vaccination and issuance of health cards to the general public also good ideas, these concepts could be more successful it will be followed by all above-mentioned awareness campaigns.

 

Dr. Faisal Khan

M.B.B.S, MPH, MCPS, (Scholar)

Madina Munawara

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Mobile: Only on Request

Email: drfaisalkhanarticle@gmail.com

 

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PAKISTAN THINK TANK HEALTH ALERT: DOES PAKISTAN HAVE ENOUGH FLU VACCINE AND STRICT BORDER CONTROLS AND QUARANTINE FACILITIES

Pakistan has to be prepared for a possible Influenza Epidemic, which is currently sweeping the United States. Pakistan needs to check travelers arriving from US, Pakistan Immigration  see if they have fever or cough, or symptoms of flu. In an advanced nation like the United States, there are critical shortages of Flu vaccine. Nations, like Pakistan are totally unprepared. Flu can take the form of pandemic and spread globally and kill millions of people. Pakistan must take defensive measures and get vulnerable people, specifically, the very young and very old vaccinated against flu virus. Health professional, who visit our site, please alert Pakistan Health Authorities about the Clear and Present Danger of an Influenza Pandemic.590x174_01091720_2013-flu
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Safe Travel and the 2012-2013 Flu Season

Safe travel and the 2012-2013 Flu Season

 

There are over 1,500 microbes that are known sources of disease among the human population, and influenza is one of the most virulent among them.

Two of the more critical hallmarks that define the influenza virus are:

  1. Constantly evolving – the non-human, highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1, or bird flu, is just one example of an influenza virus with pandemic potential. It’s a non-human virus, which means there is little to no immunity against it among people. Even though human infections are rare, if the virus were to evolve in a way that it could infect humans, and experts believe it’s capable of such evolution, it could result in a global pandemic.
  1. Easily transmitted – the flu is a highly contagious disease that is very easily transmitted from person to person (from as far as 6 feet away). While the first step to prevention is getting vaccinated, everyday precautions are also important.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, the impact of influenza is relatively benign because the populations have developed a level of immunity to the virus. And yet, it is estimated that between 1 and 1.5 million people each year die of influenza or its related complications. As a result, influenza pandemics are considered to be one of the most serious threats to the welfare of the global population.

What is a flu pandemic?

pandemic is an epidemic of infection disease that spreads through human populations across a large area (sometimes worldwide). Over the last 300 years, there have been 10 major influenza pandemics. The Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, where 30% of the world’s population fell ill and between 50 and 100 million people died, is considered the most severe.

One important factor in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was the advances in modern transportation, which in the beginning of the 20th century offered a global advantage to the flu virus. The Spanish Flu virus was very quickly spread around the world by infected crew members and passengers on ships and trains.

How travelers contribute to the spread of flu

Recently, the outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2002-2003, the Bird Flu in 2008, and the Swine Flu in 2009 served to demonstrate the quick-spreading power of the influenza virus through the convenience and ubiquity of global air travel.

Travel can be a big contributor to the global spread of the flu for a number of reasons:

  1. Travers are typically crowded together in tight spaces like airport lounges, trains, and buses
  2. The virus can remain ‘live’ on surfaces such as door handles, tray tables, and seats for up to two hours
  3. Those who are already infected may not experience symptoms for up to two days – so a traveler can be contagious long before they feel ill and isolate themselves
  4. Once symptoms develop, there is often a ‘denial phase’ in which the infected individual will continue their travel, particularly if they are returning home

An infected individual at the ‘acceptance phase’ of the illness, is more likely to cancel outbound travel, but nearly all travelers will do the utmost, even breaking quarantine, to return home when they are sick.

The global transportation system is a major gateway that allows the virus to spread far faster at the global level than the regional level. Experts believe that the next influenza pandemic could be very severe and the widespread illness and absenteeism could cause cascading disruptions to our social and economic systems.

Important steps to prevent flu transmission

It’s important to understand that the flu is a global disease, so wherever you go this flu season protecting yourself and others is critical to staying healthy.

1. The first and number one prevention step is to get vaccinated.

During your trip, the following preventative steps are simply good health measures to take care of yourself and keep others well too:

  1. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water (or an alcohol-based solution if soap and water are unavailable)
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this is how germs spread easily
  4. Avoid close contact with others who are sick
  5. Travel only when you feel well and have no symptoms of illness
  6. Limit contact with others if you are sick

People at highest risk for serious flu complications
It’s important to recognize that not everyone gets the vaccine and some people are at a greater risk of having serious complications. Those include:

  • Children younger than 5, but especially kids younger than 2 years old
  • Adults age 65 or older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus), and others

Above all, the people at the highest risk for developing serious complications due to the flu are the ones also highly encouraged to get vaccinated.

Facts about Travel Insurance and the Flu

As flu season approaches, travelers often ask us whether their travel insurance protects them in case of the flu.

With your travel insurance plan, the illness must be disabling enough to make a reasonable person cancel their trip – and that illness must be verified by a medical doctor who must say you are too ill to travel.

If you cannot be examined by a medical doctor before you cancel your trip, some travel insurance plans allow you a 72-hour window to accomplish the examination, but the result must still be the same: the physician must certify that you are too ill to travel.

As proof of the loss, you will be expected to show the physician’s report, so be sure to get a couple of copies.

 

 

590x174_01091720_2013-fluFlu widespread in 47 of 50 United States, but eases off in some areas

The flu is rapidly spreading across the nation, widespread in all but three states: California, Mississippi and Hawaii. But there’s a tiny bit of good news — it’s backing off a bit. It may have already peaked in some parts, like the Southern states.

 

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
 
<br />
	Dr Meeta Khan, wears a face mask as she examines a respiratory patient at the Rush University Hospital emergency department, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in Chicago. Flu season in the U.S. has hit early and, in some places, hard. But whether this will be considered a bad season by the time it has run its course in the spring remains to be seen. <br />

CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP

Dr. Meeta Khan of Chicago tends to a respiratory patient at the Rush University Hospital emergency department on Thursday.

NEW YORK — Flu is now widespread in all but three states as the nation grapples with an earlier-than-normal season. But there was one bit of good news Friday: The number of hard-hit areas declined.

The flu season in the U.S. got under way a month early, in December, driven by a strain that tends to make people sicker. That led to worries that it might be a bad season, following one of the mildest flu seasons in recent memory.

The latest numbers do show that the flu surpassed an “epidemic” threshold last week. That is based on deaths from pneumonia and influenza in 122 U.S. cities. However, it’s not unusual — the epidemic level varies at different times of the year, and it was breached earlier this flu season, in October and November.

NEW YORK DECLARES PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

FOUR IN 10 WHO RECEIVED FLU SHOT STILL LIKELY TO GET ILL

HOW TO TELL A COLD FROM THE FLU

And there’s a hint that the flu season may already have peaked in some spots, like in the South. Still, officials there and elsewhere are bracing for more sickness.

In Ohio, administrators at Miami University are anxious that a bug that hit employees will spread to students when they return to the Oxford campus next week.

“Everybody’s been sick. It’s miserable,” said Ritter Hoy, a spokeswoman for the 17,000-student school.

Despite the early start, health officials say it’s not too late to get a flu shot. The vaccine is considered a good — though not perfect — protection against getting really sick from the flu.

Flu was widespread in 47 states last week, up from 41 the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. The only states without widespread flu were California, Mississippi and Hawaii.

The number of hard-hit states fell to 24 from 29, where larger numbers of people were treated for flu-like illness. Now off that list: Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina in the South, the first region hit this flu season.

Recent flu reports included holiday weeks when some doctor’s offices were closed, so it will probably take a couple more weeks to get a better picture, CDC officials said Friday. Experts say so far say the season looks moderate.

“Only time will tell how moderate or severe this flu season will be,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said Friday in a teleconference with reporters.

The government doesn’t keep a running tally of adult deaths from the flu, but estimates that it kills about 24,000 people in an average year. Nationally, 20 children have died from the flu this season.

Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months or older. Since the swine flu epidemic in 2009, vaccination rates have increased in the U.S., but more than half of Americans haven’t gotten this year’s vaccine.

Nearly 130 million doses of flu vaccine were distributed this year, and at least 112 million have been used. Vaccine is still available, but supplies may have run low in some locations, officials said.

To find a shot, “you may have to call a couple places,” said Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, who tracks the flu in Iowa.

In midtown Manhattan, Hyrmete Sciuto got a flu shot Friday at a drugstore. She skipped it in recent years, but news reports about the flu this week worried her.

During her commute from Edgewater, N.J., by ferry and bus, “I have people coughing in my face,” she said. “I didn’t want to risk it this year.”

The vaccine is no guarantee, though, that you won’t get sick. On Friday, CDC officials said a recent study of more than 1,100 people has concluded the current flu vaccine is 62 percent effective. That means the average vaccinated person is 62 percent less likely to get a case of flu that sends them to the doctor, compared to people who don’t get the vaccine. That’s in line with other years.

The vaccine is reformulated annually, and this year’s is a good match to the viruses going around.

The flu’s early arrival coincided with spikes in flu-like illnesses caused by other bugs, including a new norovirus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, or what is commonly known as “stomach flu.” Those illnesses likely are part of the heavy traffic in hospital and clinic waiting rooms, CDC officials said.

Europeans also are suffering an early flu season, though a milder strain predominates there. China, Japan, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Algeria and the Republic of Congo have also reported increasing flu.

Flu usually peaks in midwinter. Symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, head and body aches and fatigue. Some people also suffer vomiting and diarrhea, and some develop pneumonia or other severe complications.

Most people with flu have a mild illness. But people with severe symptoms should see a doctor. They may be given antiviral drugs or other medications to ease symptoms.

Some shortages have been reported for children’s liquid Tamiflu, a prescription medicine used to treat flu. But health officials say adult Tamiflu pills are available, and pharmacists can convert those to doses for children.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/flu-spreads-u-s-eases-areas-article-1.1238794#ixzz2HpFePDs7

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Pakistani Americans and People of Global Community, Please write to US Senators and Congressmen, about the blowback of Shakil Afridi Affair and its relation with the killing of Health Visitor Nurses, our Shaheed Florence Nightingales

Pakistanis please act. Your representatives in US government will listen. Don’t be lazy, because, if you do not do anything against this heinous act, you will have to answer to Allah Almighty. AND FIGHT AGAINST THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM, THE CRAZY FANATICS CALLING THEMSELVES “PAKISTANI” TALIBAN.”  
Message:

Dear Senator or Congresswoman: You have supported all of Obama’s action, without thinking of the consequences, To get the terrorist Bin Ladin, CIA used Dr.Afridi, to set-up a vaccination program to get DNA from Bin Ladin’s children. But, did you ever consider the blowback of this naive action? Here it is Senator, people in Pakistan have stopped giving children polio vaccine. As a nearly seventy year old constituent, I also got childhood polio, for which I have suffered consequences of pain and disfigurement. I know you will find a rational explanation for this action, but there are principles, which if not upheld, may not have accountability here, but in the Hereafter, unless, we don’t believe in it. Please re-read the foriegn policy of our great Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, these nations (Pakistan) were our staunchest US allies, but, by implementing a foreign policy of “Might Makes Right,” we have turned our friends into enemies. We support corrupt rulers like Asif Zardari and Hamid Karzai, because, they follow our line. These are corrupt opportunist. America is NOT a corrupt nation, by aligning with them and supporting them, we are tainting ourselves for times to come. We are a nation of ethics and morals. Are we going to do deals with these devils?  I urge you to speak out. Will Jesus approve these kinds of policies? Or his courageous stand for truth, morals and ethics have lost their meaning for us. If yes, then heaven help us. Our international problems are our own creation, God Almighty is Just, and blesses those who are peacemakers. Here is the blowback effect of our reactive approach to the region, as published in a Pakistani newspaper, please have the patience to read it.  Please read this article, because if polio pandemic starts, it will have no boundary and will effect whole of global infants. The following article appeared in a Pakistani newspaper:The CIA and Pakistan polio attacks By Fareeha Khalid Dec 19th, 2012

The UN children’s agency UNICEF and the World Health Organisation have suspended a polio campaign in Pakistan after nine health workers were killed in two days across the country. Pakistan is one of only three countries (Afghanistan and Nigeria being other two) in the world where polio is still endemic, and such attacks are only adding insult to the injury. While the Taliban, who are vigorous opponents of such campaigns, may be behind the killings, the US intelligence agency, the CIA, also shares the blame equally for obstacles in polio drive in Pakistan. In 2011, the CIA showed its stupidity when it faked a vaccination campaign to get DNA samples from the children in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound to know his whereabouts. The killing of health workers cannot be justified. But the fact is that the CIA only intensified the perception of most Pakistani people that the US agency runs a spy network under the guise of such campaigns. The intelligence agency hired the services of a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, for the purpose and used its heinous means, thinking the end would justify them. But it didn’t. Now it has become more difficult than ever to run a polio campaign in Pakistan where, according to health officials, the suspension of such vaccinations can put the health of 240,000 children at risk. There is already a strong anti-US sentiment in Pakistani for various reasons, and the CIA with its agents like Fanatics of WaziristanRaymond Davis and bogus vaccination campaigns is making the situation worse.

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