ISLAMABAD - The health indicators in the country are not up to the desired level and hard efforts are required to achieve Sustainable Development Goals-3 (SDG-3) targets through universal health coverage, said parliamentary secretary for health on Tuesday. 

Parliamentary secretary for National Health Services (NHS) Dr Nausheen Hamid said this during the national launch of SDG3 localization in Pakistan. World Health Organization (WHO) and ministry for NHS launched SDG3 localization in a joint collaboration. 

Dr Nausheen Hamid said that the government is committed to implement SDG3 agenda through its localization and integration with the country health strategies and plans both at a National and Provincial level.  She said that the first step towards attaining the SDG3 targets in Pakistan starts with understanding the ground realities of today as the health indicators are not up to the desired level and we all need to work very hard to achieve SDG3 targets through Universal Health Coverage. She also said that Pakistan has made sub-optimal progress towards achieving the targets set out under the MDGs and now the SDG Agenda.  Dr Naheed also added that the ministry has completed the process of localization of health related SDG indicators in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and partners both at the National and Provincial levels. She said the Ministry seeks close cooperation with line ministries to monitor the progress in SDG3 indicators.

We would specially request the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to work in collaboration with the Ministry on data sharing and analysis for measuring and reporting progress on health indicators. Director General (DG) Health Dr Asad Hafeez said on this occasion that the country aims to bring about transformational change in 17 domains covering multiple sectors to improve the lives of not only the citizens of Pakistan but also to contribute towards the betterment of the entire humanity.

He said SGD-3 that covers health is aimed to “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages” and is the pivot that will drive the SGD agenda in Pakistan due to its centrality in human development. He said government is fully focused on improving the lives of the people of Pakistan it is imperative that the country is well prepared to enable full achievement of SDG targets and goals. DG health added that it is a notable achievement for Pakistan that it is one of the first countries globally to complete the localization process which is a fundamental first step towards the long journey of achieving SDGs by 2030.

Dr Ni’ma Abid Saeed Head of WHO Pakistan in his address said that WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

He further said that monitoring health trend and strengthening health information system are among the core functions of WHO and for that organization  is committed to support all stakeholders for SDG-3 implementation and forth coming voluntary national review.

The National launch of SDG3 aims to disseminate the endorsed National and Provincial indicators and targets for the health related goals. Moreover, national and provincial authorities will agree on the way forward for the mutual collaboration and cooperation of government, WHO and other partners in achieving the SDG-3 targets in Pakistan. 

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and 244 indicators of the 2030 Agenda integrate all three dimensions of sustainable development recognizing that eradicating poverty and inequality, creating inclusive economic growth and preserving the planet are inextricably linked. 

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

Hence health is centrally positioned within the 2030 Agenda, with one comprehensive goal (SDG-3) and its 13 targets (and more than 27 indicators) covering major health priorities, and links to targets in many of the other goals.