It is unarguably true that health and nutrition make an essential contribution to economic development. Healthy people are more lively, energetic and effectively contribute to economic progress, whereas, malnutrition, ill-health and diseases are considered as barriers to economic growth. Many thought that Imran Khan would take revolutionary steps to improve the health sector once he became the PM. Today, despite all the tall claims about prioritising the health of the nation, the health sector under PTI’s government is facing multiple crises.

On the one hand, administrative issues in the sector are making things difficult for people. On the other, the spread of diseases coupled with the incompetence of the health departments across the country are inflicting miseries upon people. Take the crippling disease polio, for instance. The count of reported polio cases for 2019 has reached 134. Only hours after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) government hoped to bring down polio cases to a single digit this year, two more cases have taken the province’s tally to 91.

As if the persistence of the crippling disease not to go away was not enough, AIDS is another issue the government is struggling with. The failure of Punjab’s government in procuring the required numbers of test kids worry the experts that Punjab may reach epidemic proportions of the disease. It is unfortunate to note that the percentage of AIDS cases has increased by 57 per cent during the last eight years.

The spread of both diseases on an epidemic scale tells a sorry state of administrative failure to take steps to curtail their spread. Let’s not talk about the government’s inability to deal with dengue fever last year. If the government is concerned about prevailing health issues in the country, it needs to overhaul the entire health sector. There is a dire need to enhance the budget allocation for health aggressively by federal and all provincial governments, along with repairing the administrative system of the health sector.