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Ms. Kanwal Shauzab (Parliamentary Secretary MoPD&SI) inaugurated the National Learning and Strategic Planning Forum for Pakistan Deworming Initiative at Bhurban. The purpose of the two-days forum was to reflect and celebrate the achievement of the deworming of over 8.3 Million school-age children in Sindh, KP, ICT and Punjab and discuss innovations based on lessons learned from 2021 experience and agree on strategies for treating 17 Million at risk School age children annually effectively.
The event was hosted by Ministry of Planning, Develoment and Special Initiatives (m/o PD&SI) and Interactive Research & Development, Pakistan with collaboration from the Evidence Action and WHO. Prominent members from health, education and planning & development departments from the provinces/ regions and the representatives of WHO, WFP, Nutrition International attended the forum.
Notable guests of honors, who attended the forum, include Dr. Palitha Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan, Secretary health AJK, Major General Ahsan Altaf, Vice Chancellor Health Services Academy, Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan and Chief Health MoPDSI Dr. Muhammad Asif along with stakeholders from all the regions of Pakistan from planning & development, health and education departments. Ms. Kanwal Shauzab highlighted that the deworming program is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of eradication of stunting and nutrition. She urged the team to collaborate with the MNCs to raise awareness and enhance the awareness of the masses on importance of deworming. She also appreciated the efforts of the provincial and federal governments in leveraging government infrastructure to deworm school-age children and proposed a development of the sustainability framework of Pakistan Deworming Initiative. She also emphasized upon the plan of action to deworm both school-going and out of school children alike.
Dr. Palitha Mahipala highlighted the concept of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), the global efforts to eradicate NTDs and emphasized upon the need to support Pakistan Deworming Initiative through political commitment, investments, innovations and partnerships.
Dr.Muhammad Asif, Chief Health MoPD&SI delineated the timelines of the deworming plan of action 2022 and highlighted the importance of framework of the deworming initiative to attain sustainability. He additionally discussed the key documents around strategic planning 2022-2027.
Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan, Vice Chancellor Health Services Academy offered his support and availability of Health Services Academy for capacity building. He also added that there is a need for increased advocacy of the program to enhance awareness among the parents for which print, digital and social media should be used. He appreciated the efforts of the Interactive Research and Development in enhanced coverage and development of models across Pakistan and suggested having more forums like this in order to support health of children of Pakistan.
Program Director Qadeer Baig also highlighted achievements, progress & future goals of Pakistan Deworming Initiative. He congratulated the stakeholders on successfully deworming over 10 Million children between 2018-2021. He also thanked the media and the celebrities for their support and mentioned that the road map for the coming years will ensure sustainability, focus more on adapting a hybrid of school-based and community-based deworming approaches.
The participants of the forum concluded by signing a declaration for the acceleration & enhancement of Pakistan Deworming Initiative (2022-27) and appreciated the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives for leading the program on federal level.