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Pakistan, Iran agree for enhancing cooperation in health sector

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran have made an agreement to enhance bilateral cooperation in the health sector during the recent visit of Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health, to Tehran, a press release said on Tuesday.

Dr Zafar Mirza met Iranian health minister Saeed Namaki during his visit to Tehran on the sidelines of 66th Session of Regional Committee Meeting of World Health Organization (WHO). The meeting was attended by health ministers and high-level delegates of the Eastern Mediterranean region comprising 22 countries.

At the outset, Mirza mentioned the centuries-old civilizational, cultural and religious ties between the two nations and the need to further translate them into stronger cooperation for the welfare of the people, the press release said.

He made special mention of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision to establish a welfare state modelled on the State of Madinah, of which better health for the people is an important component.

Read: National Medicine Policy to be announced next month: Zafar Mirza

The special assistant elaborated that the health ministry reached an agreement with the interior ministry to provide space and facilities at the Taftan border between Iran and Pakistan.

Under the plan, a health post will be established to cater to the needs of the travellers including the Zaireen.

Dr Zafar Mirza highlighted various reforms initiated by the present government in the health sector including key initiatives like social health protection which is being extended in phases to all eligible families across Pakistan.

The special assistant also lauded the achievements of Iran in the area of universal health coverage as an example in the region.

Read: Govt to ensure completion of immunization agenda in Pakistan: Zafar Mirza

“Primary health-care, polio eradication, controlling communicable and non-communicable diseases, pharmaceuticals and health reforms are areas in which both countries can collaborate and get benefits from each other’s experiences,” said Mirza.

The Iranian minister Saeed Namaki expressed his desire to provide all-out support to strengthen the health system of Pakistan.

The countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in diverse areas, whereas, a 14-member delegation of health experts from Pakistan will be visiting Iran in November for two weeks to study the country’s health system.

Moreover, the Iranian side was also invited to send its health experts to Pakistan on a mutually agreed date. The two sides also agreed to cooperate in the fields of pharmaceuticals and medical education.

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