Islamabad “: Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Nausheen Hamid on Tuesday said improving access of people, particularly women and other vulnerable segments, to health facilities was the top priority of the government.
She was speaking at a webinar on dissemination of key findings of the Pakistan Maternal Mortality Survey, which was organised by the National Institute of Population Studies.
The objective of the survey was to assess progress on maternal health indicators to help policy makers and organizations to improve health facilities for the population. The PMMS, the first exclusive nationwide survey provides data for the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The parliamentary secretary said to identify the gaps in services and facilities at national and regional levels, it was necessary to have access to reliable data which enables executing organisations to implement remedial measures.
"The government encourages evidence-based research work to provide a direction. The NIPS, as the only public sector organization at the Federal level to undertake research in population matters, has met this need to an extent by regularly conducting the Pakistan Demographic and Health Surveys besides other research studies ranging from quality of health care to nutrition."
She said on maternal mortality, the first and last direct estimate of maternal mortality with a limited sample size was obtained in 2006-07, as part of PDHS.
"It is unfortunate that substantive research work in this important area could not be undertaken at national level for more than a decade.