Islamabad - The Minister of National Health Services, Saira Afzal Tarar Tuesday called to accelerate the efforts to achieve health Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The minister was addressing a workshop held at Pakistan Academy of Sciences for the development in health sector.

Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) is working on 3rd goal of SDG ‘Healthy lives for all and for all ages’. 

The minister on this occasion said that SDG-3 requires focus on social health and other issues which have influence on health.

NHS initiated work on SDGs and developed ‘National Health Vision 2025’, she said.

She said ministry is coordinating with all stakeholders to implement the vision 2025.

“For the development of a National Action Plan on SDGs, a consultative meeting of all stakeholders was also held at national and provincial levels in September 2016,” said the minister.

The minister providing the details of efforts said that in the follow-up of meeting held at Inter-Provincial Health Ministers, all stakeholders reached an agreement of data sharing to NHS on regular basis.

Elaborating the SDG-3, the minister said that 13 targets and 26 proposed indicators are included in this goal which is variable according to the health challenges of the country.

“NHS is mulling to develop context based smart indicators according to the health issues of the country,” said the minister.

“I am pleased to note that this workshop builds on the progress made hence far and is the first of a series of workshops to help Pakistan take significant strides in achieving all the targets set in the health related SDGs,” Saira said.

The minster also stated that involvement of academia, science community, parliamentarians, government and civil society in the joint health SDG committee will also help in achieving the objectives.

“But, for the required results, it is also needed to develop a mechanism of monitoring and accountability because it will help in identifying the gaps in line with National Health vision 2025,” she said.

Director General (DG) Health Dr Asad Hafeez said that the principle objective of this workshop was to involve the science community in a big way in the multi-stakeholder planning exercise on public health and nutrition in Pakistan and Sustainable Development Goals.

He said a better and broader understanding of science is very critical for achieving SDGs as it is the science, which provides the new foundations for new approaches and technologies to identify, clarify and tackle global challenges for the future.

Policy experts and policymakers prepared detailed roadmaps to help Pakistan achieve commitments under five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at a special two-day session organized by Aga Khan University in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health Services and Regulation, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences.

The SDGs span a set of 169 detailed targets across 17 inter-linked policy areas that 193 nations, including Pakistan, have committed to achieve over the next 13 years.

The two-day workshop saw over 80 specialists in health, nutrition, poverty, education, and water and sanitation assess evidence on the effectiveness of existing policy initiatives and share insights on where coordinated action could achieve the greatest impact.