The Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Hon. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, recently affirmed that through enhanced national program efforts – and the continued support of international donors and partners – his country remains committed to the fight against malaria within Pakistan, and throughout the region.
Speaking at the London Malaria Summit held alongside the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018), the Prime Minister highlighted the significant reduction in incidence of Plasmodium falciparum cases in the country in the past few years. Between 2010 and 2016, however, the estimated number of malaria cases has remained relatively consistent, pointing to the need for renewed national efforts against the disease.
“We have started mobilizing domestic resources and investing in the control and elimination of all communicable disease,” he said. “The allocation for malaria control by the provincial governments has substantially increased – and more than doubled in the last few years.”
“In addition, we have joined hands with Asia-Pacific countries through Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) to re-affirm our commitment of malaria elimination from the region,” he added. “Let me assure you that we will further enhance our efforts for complete elimination of malaria – both through increased resource allocation, and better coordination and management.”
Prime Minister Abbasi assured delegates that malaria control interventions in Pakistan are aligned with the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria (2016–2030), adding that malaria diagnostic and treatment services were being expanded to rural and remote areas as part of the pursuit of universal health coverage.
Pakistan has recently established a cross-border malaria network with Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic State of Afghanistan to effectively coordinate and collaborate malaria control efforts in the bordering areas of the three countries.