Islamabad: In a handing over-taking over ceremony at the WHO Country Office, Officials of Saudi Fund for Development handed over Ambulances, Emergency Health Care kits, Diarrhoea Disease kits, Secondary Care kits, Female hygiene kits, IT equipment and vehicles for surveillance officers to the officials of District Health Departments of Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa and FATA . Guest of honour, Chief Engineer Abdullah M. Al-Shoaibi from SDF handed over keys of ambulances to the respective Health Department representatives of KP and FATA.
In this handing over ceremony, SFD handed over 26 ambulances – 20 to Depart of Health, KP and 6 to FATA health secretariat, 105 Emergency Health care kits, 79 Diarrheal Disease Kits, 21 Secondary Healthcare kits, 8000 female hygiene and hygiene kits and IT equipment and Vehicles (12) for surveillance officers of DEWS.
The Saudi Fund Development (SFD), has given the grant of US$ 9,554,988 for World Health Organization (WHO) project, “Provision of Comprehensive Primary Health Care (PHC) interventions including MNCH/RH, EPI, psychosocial support and referral for emergency health care through the assistance given by Saudi Fund for Development for the purchase of medicines, vehicles, essential and specialized equipment, construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of health facilities and 7 warehouses along with establishment of 10 stabilisation centres to facilitate the conflict affected population in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and FATA, Pakistan.”
Speaking on the occasion Dr Guido Sabatinelli, WHO Representative for Pakistan, thanked Saudi Fund for Development for graciously granting WHO the opportunity to facilitate the conflict affected population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Dr. Guido informed that the project was initiated last year in August and is expected to be completed in September 2011. He further added that major components of SDF are Provision of essential medicines, Ambulances for Department of Health, Nutrition Stabilization Centres, WASH interventions at health facilities – water supply and healthcare waste management, IT equipment for Surveillance officers and vehicles for Disease Early Warning System.
Chief Engineer Abdullah M. Al-Shoaibi reiterated the support of the Saudi Government to WHO and laid emphasis on saving the lives of people living in the conflict areas and providing them health care facilities.
Hostilities between insurgents and government forces in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) have led to the displacement of nearly 3.2 million people by mid-July ‘09. Some of the internally displaced persons are still living in camps or with host families, while other returned in government cleared conflict areas; and the Government has requested the humanitarian community to provide assistance during the relief and recovery phases, including water, sanitation and primary healthcare services. In the aftermath of the influx of IDPs in KPK, WHO placed great emphasis in ensuring that risks related to lack of safe water, proper sanitation and hygiene are recognized early and properly managed, so as to ensure the control of preventable ill health, with special focus on the vulnerable IDPs camps and the war devastated returnee areas.
The health indicators of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) are poor and significantly low (IMR, 63/1000 live births and MMR 275/100,000 live births respectively). This is mainly because of the low levels of antenatal care (51%) and births attended by a skilled birth attendant (38%). Immunization rates in KPK are also below that of Pakistan’s (47%).
Pakistan’s health care system is already struggling to cater for the necessary needs of its population. In this scenario, conflict and population displacement have further increased the burden on the already under-resourced health care system of the Malakand Division in KPK. If a timely assistance is not provided, the mortality rates are likely to increase, mainly due to the lack of the timely access to the health care, especially for trauma and infectious diseases. The capacity of the conflict affected districts in handling an emergency situation like this is limited and there are gaps. Primary Health Care Services are urgently required for the displaced populations of the conflict affected districts in KPK/FATA. There is also a need to support the supply chain mechanism of the essential medicines to the target population. This includes both provision of medicines in adequate quantity and emergency infrastructural support to ensure necessary storage practices. Special attention and assistance needs to be given to the vulnerable groups including elderly.
WHO works in partnership with non-government organizations focusing on Primary Health Care (PHC) service delivery, rehabilitation of health facilities, and construction of water supply at health facilities and of medical supplies and equipment warehouses, referral system strengthening and provision of life-saving drugs. A standardized package of PHC service delivery has been developed and WHO is helping existing public healthcare facilities to cater for the health needs of most vulnerable population including women, children and elderly. The health cluster partners are contracted for provision of PHC services. The funds requested from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will help continue these contractual arrangements so that the affected populations in the areas of return can continue to receive standardized PHC services through static, mobile and existing public health facilities.
From the start of the IDP crisis, WHO has been supplying essential medicines to the target population of disaster affected areas of KPK. It has kept its vision of providing timely relief in the form of essential medicines and surgical supplies monitoring rational use of medicines, providing customized kits, forecasting medicines requirement and preparing contingency plans providing technical support in managing drug warehouses and training support to the Ministry of Health and other health partners in strengthening of drug supply chains. 32 Hospitals (5 District Headquarters Hospitals, 6 Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals, 21 other hospitals including civil hospitals and teaching hospitals) were supported in terms of essential medicines and surgical equipment and supplies.
For more information, contact:
Shahzad Alam Khan
Information and Communication Officer
World Health Organization (WHO) Pakistan
Phone: +92 51 925 5075, +92 51 925 5077, +92 51 925 5184, +92 51 925 5185
Fax: +92 51 925 5083