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imageISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain said Monday the present government accords highest priority to the promotion of health sector and vigorous steps are being taken to provide basic health facilities to all especially the poor segment of society in the far flung areas of the country.

The President said this during his meeting with Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Mr Mark Dybul, who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Mark Dybul was accompanied with Executive Secretary of the Global Stop TB Partnership, Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Country Representative of WHO in Pakistan, Dr. Nima Saeed Abid, Fund Portfolio Manager Global Fund, High Impact Asia, Dr. Werner Buehler and Chairperson, Stop TB partnership Pakistan, Dr. Sharaf Ali Shah.

The President appreciated the role and contribution of Global Fund to combat TB, AIDS and Malaria in Pakistan and said that the Global Fund's support has benefitted thousands of TB, HIV/AIDS and Malaria patients in the country.

Highlighting the government efforts for improvement of health sector, the President said that Prime Minister's Special Initiative of Health Insurance was in process to provide equitable health services to poor and marginalized population.

He remarked that the government attaches priority to the control of the three infectious diseases in Pakistan, i.e TB, HIV/AIDS and Malaria as these diseases pose major public health threat to our people.

The President thanked the Global Fund for approving US $ 250 million for next three years to combat the three infectious diseases in Pakistan and assured that the government of Pakistan would continue working with the Global Fund and national and international stakeholders to cope with the global challenge of combating the three infectious diseases in Pakistan and worldwide.

On TB control, he said that Pakistan has made great progress in TB control by providing free diagnosis and treatment services and appreciated the role of Dr. Lucica Ditiu and Stop TB Partnership for providing strategic support to National TB Control Program Pakistan in achieving MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) targets.

The President noted with satisfaction that Pakistan was well on track towards the MDGs targets for TB and expressed hope that the comprehensive strategic plan developed by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination would help provide universal access to TB care.

The delegation headed by Mr Mark Dybul thanked the President for meeting and appreciated the various steps being taken by the government to contain the three infectious diseases in Pakistan.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2014

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