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International Health Regulations

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The magnitude and frequency of infectious diseases, other public health hazards and emergencies, often associated with high morbidity and mortality, as well as considerable socio-economic impact have established the critical need for building sustained preparedness and response capacities at the country level. International Health Regulations (2005) are a binding instrument of international law with the purpose and scope ‘to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade’. Pakistan, along with other WHO Member States, is also a signatory to the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005, and committed to building resilient health systems which can adapt and respond to the challenges posed by outbreaks, other health hazards, and emergencies of national and international concern. Pakistan was the first country in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to volunteer for, and successfully conduct Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of its IHR core capacities in 2016. The results and recommendations of JEE have formed the basis of the development of the costed 5 Year IHR National Action Plan for Pakistan. This plan aims to develop a strong public health system in keeping with the standards and required competencies for implementing IHR. 

Implementation on some of the priority JEE recommendations has commenced with the re-notification of Multi-sectoral National IHR Task forces to establish coordination mechanism in the One Health Approach; development of AMR National Action Plan; ongoing consultative work on defining Integrated Disease Surveillance & Response mechanism in Pakistan; and, several activities for strengthening of Public Health Labs. 

In this regard, WHO, CDC, and other partners are fully committed to support and work  with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination and the provincial departments of health for strengthening IHR core capacities as planned and defined in the IHR National Action plan.  

Related link

Joint External Evaluation of IHR Core Capacities of Pakistan

International Health Regulations

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 213 707
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 9.7
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 178
Primary health care centres and units (per 10 000 population) 0.5
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 66.5

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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