LAHORE–On World Health Day, commemorated globally on Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for urgent action to eliminate health inequities and mobilize action to attain better health for all and leaving no one behind.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, in his video message, once again stressed the need of taking precautionary measures and following guidelines to address issues of health and safety during the pandemic.
Addressing at a webinar here at the University of Health Sciences (UHS), the WHO Punjab’s Head Dr Jamshaid Ahmed said that discrimination ran counter to global commitments to reach universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“It undermines investment in health systems, deters people from accessing or seeking health services, divides, disempowers, and deprives people of their basic dignity”, Dr Jamshaid added.
He further said that there was a need to address the underlying causes of discrimination within and beyond the health system. “This can only be achieved by working across sectors, agencies and more actively engaging with civil society organizations representing both health workers and affected communities. Governments, agencies, media and community leaders must unite in declaring discrimination in healthcare unacceptable”, he opined.
The webinar was organized by the UHS Public Health department in connection with World Health Day, commemorated every year on April 07. The theme this year is “Building a fairer, healthier world”. The Department’s Head Professor Fatima Mukhtar and Assistant Professor Dr Shehnoor Azhar facilitated the talk.
UHS Vice-Chancellor Professor Javed Akram said that despite improvements in health outcomes globally and in the region, these gains had not been shared equally across different countries or communities. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had grave consequences for people already experiencing inequities.
The pandemic has disproportionately impacted those people already socially, economically, or geographically disadvantaged, and evidence shows a worsening trend of disparities and inequity across the world”, he said adding that scaling up vaccine production and equitable distribution remained the major barrier to ending the acute stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Senior Joint Secretary, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Islamabad, Niaz Muhammad Khan highlighted various components of the Ehsaas Programme. He said that the “One-Window Ehsaas” was planned to facilitate citizen’s access to all the social protection programmes and online public goods.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar visited UHS on Wednesday. He especially got recorded his video message on World Health Day. In his message, the governor said that health is a fundamental human right and a great blessing. Every person deserved to live a healthy life. He added that exercising daily is the best way to remain healthy. He stressed the need of adopting precautionary measures such as washing hands, wearing masks, physical distancing, etc., and following the government’s guidelines and standard operating procedures during the pandemic.
The Punjab governor later visited UHS Telemedicine Centre and National Vaccination Centre. UHS VC Professor Javed Akram also presented the latest edition of the Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM) journal to Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on this occasion.— PRESS RELEASE