Islamabad - National Institute of Health (NIH) is a national asset, contributing towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by implementing the five years road map of International Health Regulations, said an official on Thursday.

Executive Director (ED) of National Institute of Health Prof Dr Aamer Ikram addressing senior officers of the institute said that the completely revamped and transformed NIH will emerge as a top public health organization in the region. He appreciated the commitment of scientists at NIH and said the institute received the appreciation of the highest leadership of the country during the visit of the Prime Minister. He said NIH has taken landmark initiatives including production of measles vaccine for children which was stalled for 7 years that has been made functional; Rs 751 Million has been approved for production of Sera which is a major step forward.

He said, “One of our major targets was reviving the production of measles vaccine at NIH. This was critical in the backdrop of growing incidence of the disease and epidemics of the disease in different parts of the country; however, with concerted collective effort NIH was able to achieve this objective”. Another major issue was the up gradation of laboratory facilities, a task that had been undertaken successfully. BSL-3 laboratory that conforms to global standards was their first initiative at NIH. Today, the institute is undertaking successful implementation of the five years road map of International Health Regulations and Global Health Security Agenda along with the implementation of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System in the country.  Modern financial system has been introduced and all debts worth 80 million rupees have been cleared. A world class warehouse is being established.  It may be pertinent that all initiatives have been accomplished without spending any amount from government funds. The transparency and good governance at the institute has facilitated collaboration with internationally reputed health organizations that are supporting the reform process.

 It is for the first time that master plan of NIH has been prepared. The institute has been designated as National Public Health Institute which broadens its mandate to prevent and control diseases.  

For the first time public health act has been drafted whereas national laboratory policy, national bio-safety policy, case definition book and bioprism have also been formed. ED NIH said that the institute will leave no stone unturned to take this institute further as the leading public health institution of the region, resolved Prof Dr Aamer Ikram.