Wednesday June 12, 2024

Call for reviving NCOC to tackle health crisis in flood-hit areas

By M. Waqar Bhatti
September 28, 2022

The government has been urged to revive the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) to deal with diseases and deaths in the flood-affected areas of Pakistan. Indus Health Network CEO Dr Abdul Bari on Tuesday called for a national response on the pattern of Covid-19 to deal with the devastation caused by floods and rains in the country.

Dr Bari also urged the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, to play a proactive role in the flood-hit areas, increase disease surveillance and take measures to prevent deadly outbreaks that might result in heavy loss of life in the weeks and months to come.

“Coordination between different governmental and non-governmental organisations is the need of the hour to avoid wasting the limited resources and to prevent the loss of life in the far-flung areas of the flood-hit region,” he told The News after the Healthcare Devices Association of Pakistan’s (HDAP) annual general body meeting in Karachi.

He deplored that the overall response to the flood devastation is not as good as it should be, and suggested all the authorities and organisations to collaborate to avoid duplication and wasting resources. “Short-, medium- and long-term plans should be devised to help the affected people.”

Addressing the meeting, he urged the government to facilitate the importers of medical devices in this crucial period, asking the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan to speed up the process so that medical devices can be brought in without any unnecessary delays.

“Diagnostic kits are needed in the flood-affected areas, while other medical devices will be used to treat patients from such areas. Their import should be facilitated by the authorities,” he said, and urged HDAP members to ensure that quality products are imported to save precious lives.

Earlier, the results of the election and the names of the newly elected HDAP office-bearers for 2022-23 were announced. Masood Ahmed was elected chairman, Adnan Ahmed Siddiqui senior vice chairman and Ahmar Zaman vice chairman for a year.

Shaukat Ali, Abid Maniar, Athar Feroz, Umer Imran and Shakeel Ahmed were also elected unopposed on the vacant positions of the executive committee. Outgoing HDAP chairman Naeem Chaudhary informed the meeting about the HDAP’s activities over the past year, while the incoming chairman, senior vice chairman and vice chairman discussed the future challenges and road map for the association.

“The HDAP represents over 200 companies, including multinational and national companies, importers and manufacturers of medical devices, and diagnostic companies working to save and improve the quality of life for the people of Pakistan,” said the new chairman.