Thomas Drew CMG, the British High Commissioner along with a UK delegation visited the National Institute of Health (NIH). The purpose of the visit was to strengthen bilateral relationship and technical support to Pakistan with Fleming Fund for capacity building on Antimicrobial Resistance.
NIH Islamabad demonstrates high-level policy and exercises to control Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) that is increasingly a serious global health threat. In Pakistan, an alarming level of antimicrobial resistance have been reported with risk to higher disease burden. NIH is very committed in consolidation of the AMR surveillance system in Pakistan.
NIH is entitled to establish partnership with UK’s Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), which shall support NIH in disease surveillance systems, laboratory infrastructure and skills development fields. UK-Pakistan partnership and grant of Fleming fund shall help Pakistan in generation of comprehensive data on antimicrobial resistance and professional development of senior scientists who are engaged in AMR surveillance in Pakistan.
Commenting on the announcement, Thomas Drew CMG, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan said; “Today’s announcement is another illustration of the UK’s commitment to working with Pakistan to help tackle global issues. Growing anti-microbial resistance is killing hundreds of thousands of people across the world each year. The grant will support the technical development of the health infrastructure in Pakistan, drive innovation, and build greater scientific links between our two nations; and it should lead to the saving of lives.”
The Executive Director of NIH, Maj.Gen. Aamer Ikram SI (M) said that Government of Pakistan considers AMR containment as a National Priority and committed to implement National Action Plan for AMR which was developed through consultative process with One Health Approach.
In his remarks, he briefly highlighted the progress on Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Prevention and Control in Pakistan, and the steps taken by NIH in this regard. He also stated that the Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Dr. Zafar Mirza is taking personal interest in the implementation of AMR and IPC programs in Pakistan. He is supporting NIH, provincial health departments and other health development partners and providing leadership to address the challenges of AMR in the country, through promoting coordination and adopting One Health Approach at the highest possible level.
The Executive Director also said; “We’re very pleased to collaborate closely with UK Government through Fleming Fund grant for supporting us in our efforts to prevent anti-microbial resistance in Pakistan; we see them as a key partner in providing critical technical and laboratory strengthening support”
The Executive Director NIH thanked all the partners for their continuous support in Disease Surveillance, Laboratory System, AMR, Infection Prevention and Control and other areas of Health Security.
He also thanked UK government for their funding and technical support in AMR surveillance and capacity building through Fleming Fund.
Ayesha Rasheed, Team Lead on the Pakistan Fleming Fund grant for DAI Global Health and Jawaad Vohra, International Development Pakistan, Country Grant Representative were also gave vary positive and valuable remarks on the partnership and strengthening AMR surveillance and response.