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ISLAMABAD: The US government has donated four mobile laboratories to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in order to diagnose Covid-19 and other communicable diseases, especially in remote locations where access to testing may be limited.

The mobile laboratories, provided through the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) were formally received by the Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel.

The ceremony in this regard was held at NIH and attended by US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, Federal Health Minister, Abdul Qadir Patel along with other officials from the federal Ministry of Health and NIH.

The state-of-the-art facilities will improve the accuracy of diagnoses, reduce testing turnaround time, and better protect healthcare workers. It was stated that USAID funded global health chain supply programme and implementing parameter Chemonics International Inc.

On the occasion, Ambassador Blome commended them for their effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic and highlighted Pakistan’s successful vaccination campaigns to quickly inoculate its citizens.

He commented on the success of the US-Pakistan collaboration to strengthen healthcare systems as part of the 75 years of bilateral relations between the two countries. Today’s donation supports this partnership by providing Pakistan with new tools to respond quickly to future threats.

“These mobile laboratories will strengthen the diagnostic capacity of the provincial health departments,” Ambassador Blome said.

“They will enable the government to respond quickly and effectively in hard-to-reach remote areas during emergencies, or an outbreak and epidemic”.

In his speech, the minister expressed gratitude for the US government’s support to improve health services in Pakistan as a reflection of the strong bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, the USAID has worked to save lives and contain the outbreak in more than 120 countries, including Pakistan. The USAID’s ongoing assistance provides emergency relief, strengthens health systems, supports vaccine readiness and distribution, improves public health education, and protects health care workers and facilities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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