World Health Day: How Pakistan failed to ameliorate health sector?
The World Health Day is celebrated around the world on the 7th of April in each year, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other related organizations. The day is celebrated to remind world leaders about their responsibilities towards the affordable health service and to create “Awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the world Health Organization”.
However, WHO is a vast health organization in the world working under UN for addressing the health issues on a global basis. The sole motto of WHO is the eradication of diseases and emerged a healthy globe. For this WHO support morally and financially to those countries who are affected or suffering from major diseases like Polio, HIV/aids, chickenpox, smallpox, Tuberculosis, leprosy and obesity etc. The organization also share reports annually about drug resistant pathogens, physical inactivity to the health impacts of environmental pollution, climate change, global warming and multiple humanitarian crises. Moreover, WHO declared that, at least half of the world’s population is still do not have a full coverage of essential health services. About 100 million people are still being pushed into extreme poverty because they have to pay for Healthcare despite earning 1.90 USD or less a day.
Additionally , over 800 million people (almost 12% of the world’s population) spend at least 10% of their household budget to pay for Healthcare.
Read more:How to combat COVID-19 in Pakistan
WHO is working utmost and spending Sleepless Nights to eradicate mentioned problems and diseases which it aimed to. if I take a glance in my own country Pakistan, here the existence WHO and World Health Day means nothing because on this day entire world conduct seminars and awareness programs to bring awareness in public about fatal diseases and their prevention but in Pakistan nothing can be seen, that is the reason we are still listed in polio affected countries. Even China and India with bulky population eradicate polio but Pakistan with mere 220 million population is entangled with polio since many decades.
Furthermore, the health sector of the country is a completely neglected sector in Pakistan. A very small budget is allocated to this very crucial sector. The government allocate a total of Rs 35.6 billion for the health sector in the annual budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 in Pakistan. This fewer expenditure on health is the sole reason of different types of diseases which are being faced since many decades like polio, rabies TB etc. Including, a 10 years old boy in Sindh lost his life after a dog bite because the hospital he was rushed to in Shakarpur Sindh had run-out of the vaccine for rabies. This only speaks for the sad state of affairs at the hospitals in this country. More broadly, the public hospitals depict grim pictures where we find lack of proper medicines beds equipment, scanty numbers of doctors and etc. Due to absence of health facilities every year, nearly 170 women die from pregnancy for every 100,000 births. Approximately, 44% children in Pakistan are stunned.
In a nutshell, on these days Pakistan is facing a globe pandemic covid-19( Coronavirus), nearly 4004 confirmed cases of covid-19 reported including 55 deaths and recovery of 429 patients. Punjab remained the worst-hit with 2004 cases.
Although, doctors and nurses of our nation are spending Sleepless Nights serving the patient and curbing the pandemic which was overwhelmed almost the entire world.
However, they are disappointed for want of less funds as well as medical equipment to fight the menace. I urge the government to take serious measures to eradicate Coronavirus outbreak by enforcing lockdown and curfew because a long existence of Coronavirus can damage or economy which is already under ebb and critical condition.
About author: Sameer Baloch is freelance columnist based in Karachi