The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), donated $7.5 million worth of medical oxygen supplies to the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. The support will also provide training to 163 hospitals throughout Pakistan to increase their capability to treat patients suffering from severe COVID-19 and other lung conditions.
This U.S. government support was received by the Federal Health Minister, Mr. Abdul Qadir Patel, in a ceremony at the Ministry of National Health Services in Islamabad. In his remarks, Mr. Patel said, “We are thankful to the U.S. government for their continued support during COVID-19 and especially during the recent floods.” He also expressed that these efforts reflect the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.
Addressing the Ministry of Health officials at the ceremony, Ambassador Donald Blome remarked, “Today’s donation is not just about COVID-19. It is an investment into Pakistan’s long-term health system. This assistance – that started at the very outset of COVID, continued throughout the pandemic, and is now addressing the lasting effects of the floods on health – is a prime example of the long history of U.S. assistance to Pakistan. The United States were there at the beginning, and we will continue to find ways to support Pakistan as it recovers and rebuilds from disasters – whether that is a global pandemic like COVID-19 or a flooding disaster like Pakistan has just experienced.”
The U.S. government donation provides thousands of essential supplies and equipment for oxygen therapy that the Ministry of Health requested. The U.S. government will also develop a web-based information system that will allow real-time surveillance of patient oxygen levels, as well as strengthen Pakistan’s medical oxygen systems, while technical assistance provided will train public-sector staff working at intensive-care units on how to effectively use the equipment.
The U.S. government has provided more than 79 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Pakistan including 16 million pediatric doses, one million COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests, and critical health supplies and training to health workers. These efforts are supported by the more than $80 million the U.S. government has provided to assist the Pakistani people in the fight against COVID-19.