Government to improve health services for Afghan refugees

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Aamer Mehmood Kiani on Friday has pledged to support all residents of the country, including Afghan refugees to have access to better health services.

He said that the provision of standard health facilities and reforms in public sector health institutions was the top priority of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

“We are committed to providing better healthcare facilities to everyone irrespective of their backgrounds,” he said this in a meeting at UNHCR office. The meeting also discussed various issues pertaining to the well-being of Afghan Refugees.

The minister said that Afghan refugees both men and women were also trained as paramedics at relevant Islamabad based institutions. He added that it will provide livelihood opportunities for the paramedics and allow refugees communities to benefit from their services.

The minister said, “We will ensure that refugees’ health is reflected on the agenda of various thematic months.”

United Nation Representative for Pakistan Ruvendrini Menikdiwela said UNHCR has been providing health assistance to refugees and their Pakistani host communities for around four decades. “In the past five years, we have contributed US$ 38 million to support healthcare for both refugees and refugee-hosting communities,” she said.

She said, “We will invest resources in the government’s healthcare system to enhance quality and coverage of primary, secondary and tertiary care health services in districts hosting refugees,” she said.

In addition to its regular healthcare programmes which includes a provision of health equipment to hospitals in refugee-hosting areas, the UNHCR has recently procured office equipment for the health ministry.