Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Dr. Zafar Mirza said that the government was taking steps to control Leishmania disease.
He said this while chairing a high level Meeting to review the prevalence and status of Leishmania, a skin disease commonly transmitted from humans through sandfly. The disease is widespread in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and some parts of Punjab.
He directed officials to develop a National Action Plan to control Leishmaniasis and tasked WHO to extend technical assistance to control spread of the disease in different parts of country. He said that Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDI), Geneva will also be approached to ensure availability of drugs in Pakistan. Pharmaceuticals companies should be taken on board to ensure availability of drugs at affordable prices. All possible sources would be tapped to ensure effective and immediate response to bring relief to suffering patients.
He also issued directive to the Drug pricing Committee to review existing medicine retail pricing of registered medicines. It was emphasized that DRAP should explore more sources of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients of medicine.
The meeting was attended by Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan, Provincial Health Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federal Secretary Health, DG National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, DG Health KP, DG Health Baluchistan, representatives from WHO and DRAP.