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Budget allocation for health increased to two per cent: President Alvi

ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Monday said that budget allocation for health has been increased to 2% from the current 0.9% of the GDP towards the attainment of Universal Health Care (UHC) and sustainable development health related goals.

Talking to Regional Director, World Health Organization Dr. Ahmed Salim Saif Al-Mandhari and Regional Director, UNICEF SEARO Ms. Jean Gough, who called on him in Islamabad, Arif Alvi said that increase in the spending on social sector is priority of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

According to a statement released from his office, the president said that the incumbent government has recently taken a major initiative in expanding the health card scheme for the poor to include 80 million more individuals across Pakistan.

He emphasized that Pakistan is fully committed to polio eradication and has achieved tremendous progress in stopping polio virus transmission, reducing the cases to 8 so far this year.

Arif Alvi expressed gratitude to the international community for their support of the efforts being made in Pakistan and stated that the government is committed to the United Nations high level to achieve the SDG/ End TB targets to root out Tuberculosis by 2030.

He maintained that Pakistan is committed to strengthening family planning programme aiming to achieve pledges towards FP 2020 and SDGs which will also lead to improving maternal, newborn and child health indicators of Pakistan, reads the statement.

He also highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to fight against malaria, leishmaniasis, dengue and other vector borne diseases, posing threat to the health of millions and achieve the goal of elimination and effective control of these Diseases by 2030.

The President expressed desire to seek WHO’s support for coming up with “National Action Plan” in context of Universal Health Coverage, quality of care through family practice and nutrition, because of prevailing high malnutrition status in the country.

He said that Pakistan with the help of WHO wants to increase the coverage of routine immunization, achieve equitable access to immunization services especially in the slum and rural areas and to enhance the monitoring and accountability at all levels down to the district.

Arif Alvi also urged that media and religious scholars must play their constructive role in creating awareness among the masses regarding polio, population control and hygiene.

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