ISLAMABAD: The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), presented four mobile laboratories valued at $4.6 million to Pakistan’s National Institute of Health to strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to diagnose COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. The state-of-the-art facilities will improve the accuracy of diagnoses, reduce testing turnaround time, and better protect healthcare workers, especially in remote locations where access to testing is limited. U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome and Federal Minister of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Mr. Abdul Qadir Patel attended the handover ceremony, along with other officials from the Ministry of Health Services Regulations and Coordination.
Addressing Pakistani health officials and workers at the handover event, Ambassador Blome commended Pakistan for its 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 U.S.-Pakistan collaboration to strengthen health care over 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.
“These mobile laboratories will strengthen the diagnostic capacity of provincial health departments,” Ambassador Blome said. “They will enable the government to respond quickly and effectively in hard-to-reach remote areas during emergencies, an outbreak, or an epidemic.”
Federal Minister of National Health Services Patel expressed gratitude for the U.S. government’s support to improve health services in Pakistan and said the support reflects the strong bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.
The United States has provided 61.5 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 in addition to over $70 million in direct support and $13.8 million of in-kind support that the U.S. government has donated to assist the Pakistani people.