WHO assessing Islamabad for its ‘healthy city’ list

There are certain issues that need to be addressed for the capital to be a part of the chosen cities

World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study in Islamabad to assess if the city met a healthy city’s parameters. The federal capital can become the first Pakistani city to be included in the global list. Only 15 cities have been included in the list, while 40 cities are a part of this program. Islamabad became a part of the program in 2013.

The development was announced by the Islamabad Directorate of Health Services Director General Dr. Hasan Orooj at the inauguration of the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre. He explained that the overall facilities available in the city are examined to determine what improvements are needed.

“The WHO holds a study to analyze whether a city has the potential to become a healthy city. A number of indicators are analyzed during studies that are held by a third party. In the study conducted to analyze Islamabad, mother and child health, facilities for disabled persons, functioning of institutions, health, quality of water, sanitation, environment, etc. have been declared benchmarks,” he said.

Orooj said that in the baseline study, specific issues were pointed out. However, with institutional leadership present, they can be overcome.

“In the baseline study, it is pointed out that there is an issue of human resources and some technical issues. However, it has been observed that there is leadership in institutions, so things can be improved. In simple words, the city has to be made compatible with its residents,” he said.

He said that work on infectious diseases, water quality and banning smoking in public is still needed. “We will have to work hard to get the certification of a healthy city. There are issues of water quality, infectious diseases control, a complete ban on smoking in public places, etc.,” Orooj said.

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