ISLAMABAD - Around 200 million people were affected by the natural and man-made disasters worldwide in 2008 and half of them remained deprived of the basic medical help, which they needed. This was revealed in a documentary screened at a seminar held in connection with the World Health Day observed across the globe on Tuesday. The documentary highlighted the theme for this years World Health Day Health Facilities in Emergencies. The documentary focused on establishing such health facilities that can timely response when needed as crises are multiplying everyday. Health facilities include all premises offering healthcare services, from specialised hospitals and tertiary hospitals, to primary healthcare centres and local clinics. This years theme applies to South Asian countries and specially to Pakistan, as in recent past it has gone through so many natural and man-made disasters, said Dr Khalif Bile Muhmmad, WHO representative in Pakistan while speaking on the occasion. He presented three key suggestions to help health managers for making health facilities safer, as any time a disaster can take place. He advocated for establishing a national health emergency preparedness and response unit, inculcating of an emergency and casualty management programme at hospitals and for improving human resource capacity at hospitals. He opined that such initiatives would help health managers to become resilient enough to withstand such hazards and be prepared to operate in the wake of disasters to serve both people directly affected and others in surrounding communities. Addressing the gathering, Aijaz Hussain Jackharani, Federal Minister for Health, said that the first and foremost priority of the government is to establish safe health facilities with safe manpower to remain prepared to rescue and save lives and reduce suffering in time of crisis. He said government resources to be enhanced for emergency preparedness, therefore, building efficient partnership for emergency management and coordination was the need of the hour. Talking to journalists after the programme, the minister said that the new Health Policy would be announced by the end of next month as at present it was being reviewed by the stakeholders and after incorporating their suggestions it would be presented before Cabinet. Executive Director PIMS Dr Abdul Majeed Rajput gave a brief presentation on Crisis Response Plan of PIMS that is activated during emergency situations. He said a Crisis Coordination Centre constituting of the key officials of the hospital starts working whenever a natural or man-made disaster took placHe informed the government has also allocated a special fund worth Rs 50 million for its Disaster Management Plan.