Islamabad : The National Institute of Health’s initiative to strengthen the disease surveillance system including the public health laboratories network and workforce strengthening has been approved through the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of the Planning Commission.
The approved project is titled ‘Development of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System (IDSRS) with Public Health Laboratories Network (PHLN) and Workforce Development for the transition of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (FELTP).’
This initiative has been recognised by the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPH), which convened its annual meeting from December 1-3, 2021. During the meeting, IANPHI’s Recognition of Success initiative highlighted a selection of outstanding projects led by IANPHI member institutes. From IANPHI Asia Regional Network, the IDSRS project of NIH Pakistan was selected as a significant programme. This acknowledges the efforts of NIH in tackling health inequities, exacerbated by major public health challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change.
NIH started implementing the IDSRS an evidence-based strategy for strengthening national public health surveillance and response systems under the International Health Regulations (2005). Initially piloted in 11 districts, IDSRS has been recently expanded to 26 districts.
IDSRS has also been included as one of three components of Pakistan’s public sector development program, along with the national public health laboratory system and workforce development.