The United States funds innovative health care projects designed to improve the health of mothers and children throughout Pakistan.
Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the highest population growth and birth rates in South Asia. High fertility rate not only strains Pakistan’s economy, but has dire consequences for women and children’s health. Helping Pakistanis lead healthier lives is one of the top priorities in the U.S. development assistance program.
The U.S. government, through USAID, seeks to help Pakistan prevent maternal and child illness and deaths by increasing access to quality family planning services, providing essential care to mothers and children, and building stronger health care systems. The main goal is to save 190,000 lives by 2018 through projects designed to reduce maternal and infant mortality and increase healthy pregnancies and birth spacing. USAID implements these projects through innovative partnerships with private and public organizations, the Government of Pakistan, and other donor agencies.
SAVING HEALTH AND LIVES FOR MOTHERS AND CHILDREN
In the summer of 2012, USAID launched a new five-year Maternal and Child Health Program that seeks to build innovative public-private partnerships, strengthen public sector systems, and improve the health of women and children. This program is based on the previous USAID health projects which had decreased maternal and newborn deaths by 23 percent in 26 districts and expanded the use of family planning methods by 8.5 percent in 15 districts through community engagement, training for medical specialists, and outreach services. Through its new program, USAID is helping to increase the ability of Pakistan’s public, private, and civil society sectors to deliver healthcare services and build public demand for these services. The program also works to improve healthcare systems essential for equitable delivery of healthcare services in a newly decentralized health sector.
To assist the Government of Pakistan in extending healthcare to Pakistan’s poorest populations, USAID funds construction and renovation of various health facilities. The recently completed extension of Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Center in Karachi includes a 60-bed ward which will provide treatment of obstetric and gynecological complications for 15,000 women each year. In early 2013, USAID began construction of the 130-bed Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences which will serve poor communities in Sindh and Baluchistan. The reconstruction of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa healthcare facilities enables local families to receive essential primary and secondary healthcare services closer to their homes.
The United States has also supported expansion and modernization of the Central Warehouse for Health Commodities in Karachi. This expansion, completed in early 2012, has tripled the size of the warehouse from 18,000 to 50,000 square feet and converted it into a state-of-the-art storage space for medical supplies used by the entire country. USAID has also provided more than $100 million worth of health commodities in 2009-2012 to help the Government of Pakistan bridge the gap between the supply and demand of key medical supplies, including anti-tuberculosis drugs, microscopes and reagents for laboratories, equipment for cold storage of drugs, and a two-year supply of blood screening kits for HIV and Hepatitis B and C.
Last updated: February 26, 2014