Pakistan’s Health Sector Still Lags Behind in the Region: WHO

Pakistan has made great leaps in the health sector over the last 18 years. however, the country has still a lot more to do to pace up with the regions and the world, according to a report launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.

WHO’s report paints a dismal picture of Pakistan’s performance in the health sector, especially in regards with Sustainable Development Goals.

WHO recently compiled this report “Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3” in collaboration with the National Health Services (NHS).

The report states that the country’s maternal mortality rate has dropped to 160 per 100,000 live births, which was 290 in the year 2000. However, it still needs to be reduced more as the SDG requirement is less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

The probability of deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease between the ages of 30 and 70 has reduced to 24.7 percent from 24.8 percent in 2000. However, the SDGs envision this figure to be less than 17% by 2030.

Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary NHA, spoke at the launch of this report. She states that Pakistan had made sub-optimal headway in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now is making progress in the SDGs too.


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She also said that for NHS ministry, the SDGs are the national goals of Pakistan. It is resolved to realizing the SDG-3 through localizing it and integrating it with Pakistan’s health strategies and plans at the provincial and national levels.

She further added that for achieving SDG-3 in Pakistan, the first step is to understand the ground realities.

“The health indicators are not up to the desired level and we all need to work very hard to achieve SDG-3 through the universal health coverage. The ministry has completed the process of localization of health-related SDG indicators in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and partners both at the national and provincial levels,” she says.

SDG-3 is the third of 17 SDGs as envisioned by the United Nations. It aims to ‘ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’. It urges world leaders to work on improving reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health along with reducing infectious and non-communicable diseases, and improving the health systems and allocate funding for that.