PESHAWAR: The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), presented 36 vehicles to the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Health Department to help strengthen tracking and management of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health and Finance Taimur S. Khan led the hand-over ceremony at the KP Governor’s House.
“This year marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S.-Pakistan partnership,” remarked U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome. “We are proud of our contributions to improve lives here in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and we are committed to making the world a better place for the Pakistani people. With these vehicles and the training provided by USAID, KP health professionals are better equipped to provide accurate and timely information in remote locations and help health officials make informed decisions to protect the public.”
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health Finance Mr. Taimur Saleem Jhagra thanked H.E Donald Blome for his visit and extended support. He extended his gratitude for USAID support in different health interventions on behalf of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
While talking to the media, Mr. Khan said, “The KP Department of Health is grateful to USAID for the timely support of vehicles provided to all District Diseases Surveillance and Response Units in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These 36 vehicles will be fully utilized for COVID-19 surveillance as well as for vaccination campaign monitoring. We cherish our partnership with USAID for strengthening the health system in the province.”
Across Pakistan, the United States has donated 61 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to date, with an additional 16 million pediatric doses announced and expected to arrive soon. Since the start of pandemic, the U.S. government has provided nearly $70.4 million in direct support and $13.8 million in in-kind support to assist the Pakistani people in the fight against COVID-19, with another $20 million planned to support further vaccination efforts in Pakistan. The United States has also provided 200 ventilators for 64 Pakistani hospitals, which increased Pakistan’s respiratory care capacity by 30 percent, and trained 400 healthcare workers on how to operate these ventilators. At the provincial level, the United States, though USAID, provided disease surveillance and response teams in all 155 districts across Pakistan and supported the reconfiguration of a “HealthAlert” phone application for healthcare workers to report new cases of COVID-19 in rural areas.