The US government on Wednesday 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 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.
Dr Muhammad Tariq, Country Director USAID funded GHSC PSM project briefed the participants about USAID support for Covid-19 to Pakistan. The state-of-the-art facilities will improve the accuracy of diagnoses, reduce testing turnaround time, and better protect healthcare workers, he said.
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 health care 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, he said.
“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, Health Minister Patel expressed gratitude for the US government’s support to improve health services in Pakistan as a reflection of the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, USAID has worked to save lives and contain the outbreak in more than 120 countries, including Pakistan. 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.
According to the details, the United States has provided nearly 61.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Pakistan, one million Covid-19 rapid diagnostic tests, and critical health supplies and training to health workers. These efforts are part of the nearly $70 million in direct support and $9.2 million of in-kind support that the US government has donated to assist the Pakistani people.