Tuesday May 28, 2024

Pakistan re-elected to OPCW’s executive council

By News Desk
December 06, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been re-elected to the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the term 2022–2024, the Foreign Office said on Saturday.

According to the press release, the elections were held during the recently concluded 26th session of the Conference of States Parties held in The Hague from 29 November to 2 December, 2021, reported.

"The re-election of Pakistan to the 41-member Executive Council of the OPCW is a testament to Pakistan’s positive role in the OPCW," it stated. The statement said, "The re-election reaffirms the confidence of the Member States in Pakistan’s ability to provide effective leadership and impetus to the work of the OPCW."

Pakistan has been an active member of the OPCW and has served on the Executive Council since its ratification of the CWC in 1997. "Pakistan has been contributing constructively towards the fulfilment of the objectives of the CWC and Afghanistan via Islamabad. This consignment would be part of Rs100 million medicines and equipment to be donated to Afghanistan by the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA)”, Atif Iqbal, Vice Chairman of the PPMA told The News in Karachi.

The Public Health Minister of Taliban-led government of Afghanistan Dr Qalandar Ebad had requested the PPMA on November 26, 2021 to donate medicines and medical equipment for hospitals in Afghanistan and handed over a list of 170 medicines and medical equipment to keep the public hospitals in the war-ravaged country functional.

Accompanied by other members of PPMA including Nadir Khan, Kairser Waheed and Ghulam Hashim Noorani from the Pakistan Chemists and Druggists Association (PCDA), Atif Iqbal who is the Managing Director of local pharmaceutical firm High-Q, said initially 10 leading pharmaceutical companies from Karachi have donated the medicines for the first consignment to Afghanistan. “This consignment contains anti-biotics, painkillers, medicines for the treatment of diseases of women and children, those used in the Intensive Care Units and equipment that are widely used in the secondary and tertiary-care hospital settings”, Atif Iqbal said, adding that they have also donated 400 wheel chairs, which are being dispatched to Afghanistan.

According to him, Searle Pharmaceutical have donated medicines and equipment worth 10 million, followed by High-Q which donated medicines worth 6.5 million, Pharmevo donated medicines worth 2.5 million, Maxitec Pharma donated medicines worth 2.2 million.

“Other pharmaceutical companies which donated the medicines and medical equipment include Mafins Pharma, Ophth Pharma, ICI Pakistan Limited, Mediflow Pharmaceuticals, Bosch Pharmaceuticals and Herbion Pakistan”, Atif Iqbal said. He said that some leading national and multinational companies have decided to send the medicines directly to their contacts in Afghanistan as they already had links in the war-ravaged country.

Vice Chancellor, Health Services Academy (HSA), who is supervising Pakistan’s health assistance to Afghanistan, welcomed the support from Pakistani drug manufacturers to Afghan brethren in need of healthcare and added that Pakistan was already doing a lot to help people of Afghanistan in the area of health and nutrition.

“Pakistan has recently established three hospitals in Afghanistan including one each in Kabul, Jalalabad and Logar, which we are going to make functional within a couple of weeks.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced provision of Rs5 billion to Afghanistan, which would mainly be used for purchase of medicines and food for the Afghan people”, he added.

He said Pakistani authorities were also planning for the construction of a modern health facility on Afghan border near Torkham to facilitate a large number of patients from Afghanistan while number of doctors posted at the border crossings between two countries was being enhanced to facilitate a large number of patients from the war-torn country.

“Afghan health authorities have also requested us to train their technicians, paramedics and nurses and to make their diagnostic facilities functional”, he said and added that federal healthcare institutions and facilities on the directives from Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan are ready to train Afghan healthcare workers and professionals.