PESHAWAR: A USAID-funded provincial command and control centre was inaugurated here on Tuesday to help prevent spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases in the province.

A statement issued here said the modern centre would link the Provincial Disease Surveillance and Response Unit and 36 district disease surveillance and response units across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to provide real-time data on outbreaks of diseases to the provincial health department.

Speaking at a function on the occasion, USAID Mission Deputy Director Michael Nehrbass said: “The Covid-19 pandemic underpinned the importance of this partnership between the United States and Pakistan, which enabled the health systems at all levels to respond quickly to public health threats and save lives.”

“We thank the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for its dedicated leadership in creating these centres to help fight the spread of coronavirus and other diseases,” he added.

“Strengthening the healthcare system is one of the top priorities of the provincial government,” special secretary health Dr Farooq Jamil said.

“Improving the capacity of the province’s hospitals to combat coronavirus and providing universal healthcare to poor and rural communities are the prime concerns of the health department, and we are pleased to have USAID’s support aligned with our provincial needs and focus areas.”

The statement said since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, USAID had closely engaged with the Pakistan government to train and prepare all provincial health departments for timely and responsive surveillance of Covid-19 cases.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021

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