Health Emergencies are complex and multi-faceted events that require a response from not only the health sector but also from many other partners both in-country as well as international. The emergence of severe and debilitating illnesses is especially concerning for Pakistan, more so in light of a subpar performing health system. Furthermore, the possible economic damage from post-outbreak quarantines that may be imposed poses a difficult challenge for the national economy. Apart from disease outbreaks, Pakistan also faces the risk of a variety of natural disasters that have affected the country with some regularity over the past decades. These require a response that is weighted more towards disaster management but nevertheless still encompass a health component.
Bearing the above in mind, Pakistan’s efforts under International Health Regulations / Global Health Security Agenda (IHR/GHSA) are a major initiative of the M/oNHSRC. IHR/GHSA not only focuses on the health system components such as disease surveillance, laboratory diagnostic capacity, and health workforce to enable better utilization of developing capacities, they also include components which require interfacing with a variety of other stakeholders and partners across multiple line ministries and provincial departments. As Pakistan moves ahead with IHR implementation with support from various technical partners, it is envisaged that these new linkages will allow the Health in All Policies approach to gain greater traction in the country and improve health emergency response nationwide.