WHO Pakistan and Japan partnership revitalizes healthcare in flood-hit regions of Pakistan

A significant step towards rebuilding healthcare in flood-hit areas of Pakistan was celebrated on May 31, 2024, at the WHO Islamabad Office.

WHO Pakistan, with crucial support from Japan, marked the successful completion of the ‘Rebuilding Together’ initiative aimed at restoring healthcare infrastructure in flood-affected regions of Pakistan.

Japan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Wada Mitsuhiro, and other dignitaries attended the event held to acknowledge the revitalization of healthcare services for communities devastated by the 2022 floods.

Floods 2022: The catastrophic monsoon rains between mid-July and mid-August 2022 led to unprecedented flooding across Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh provinces, impacting millions of lives. The floods displaced over 600,000 people, damaged 1.9 million houses, and devastated agricultural lands. The healthcare sector faced severe setbacks with more than 2,000 health facilities damaged.

WHO-Japan partnership helps strengthen healthcare system

Thanks to financial assistance from the government and the people of Japan, WHO swiftly responded to communicable disease outbreaks and enhanced access to essential healthcare services by revitalizing damaged facilities.

In a collaborative effort to strengthen healthcare delivery, WHO renovated 462 healthcare facilities, with 240 of these rehabilitated specifically through Japan’s support. These restored facilities are now operated by government health authorities, ensuring ongoing service provision.

WHO Pakistan and Japanese Government’s collaboration helped

  • Refurbished 287 health facilities, and labor rooms to ensure healthcare equity and resilience in the flood-affected districts of Pakistan.
  • Supported 30 nutrition stabilization centers across the flood-affected districts of Pakistan with the provision of human resources, equipment, supplies, essential medicines, and therapeutic food.
  • Provided basic and emergency obstetric and neonatal care equipment to 143 labor rooms, 36 C-section facilities, 9 Kangaroo mother care centers and 16 neonatal ICUs in the flood-affected districts.
  • WHO procured and distributed 48,000 rapid diagnostic kits for Cholera, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E and influenza to health facilities in the flood-affected districts through the generous support of Japan
  • WHO established 813 sentinel sites for AWD/Cholera surveillance in the flood-affected districts.

Dr. Luo Dapeng, WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Pakistan, praised Japan’s support in his welcome remarks. “We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support from the Government and people of Japan. Their generous contribution has been instrumental in restoring access to essential healthcare for vulnerable communities affected by the floods. This collaborative effort exemplifies the importance of international partnerships in building resilient healthcare systems,” he said.

WHO Pakistan remains committed to working alongside the Pakistani government and other stakeholders to further strengthen the country’s healthcare infrastructure, Dr. Dapeng added.

Japanese Ambassador Wada Mitsuhiro commended WHO Pakistan’s efforts, highlighting Japan’s commitment to global health: “The government of Japan is committed to ‘Leave No One’s Health Behind’ towards achieving Universal Health Coverage. Global Health is central to Japan’s Development Cooperation, and we consider it to be a fundamental pillar of sustainable development.”

The ‘Rebuilding Together’ initiative also focused on empowering local healthcare professionals. WHO invested in capacity building for service providers in areas such as disease surveillance and outbreak response, ensuring the long-term sustainability of healthcare services in the affected regions.

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