U.S. Experts Help Develop Plan to Control Zoonotic Diseases in Pakistan

Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported the Government of Pakistan with the development of their National One Health Framework and Strategic Plan Development Workshop July 16-20.

The workshop focused on zoonotic diseases of national and international significance, which are diseases that can be spread between humans and animals, such as rabies and brucellosis.

Pakistan recently established a One Health Hub in the Pakistan National Institute of Health (NIH), which will support collaboration and coordination between the human, animal, and environment health sectors on infectious zoonotic diseases.  This workshop was organized in response to a request from the Pakistani government for technical assistance in developing a One Health Strategic Plan to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in Pakistan.

In addition, CDC and USDA experts discussed strategies to control rabies and brucellosis, which the Pakistani government prioritized as part of the One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization and One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Toolkit (OH-SMART™) workshop held in August 2017.

The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSRC), the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MoNFSR), the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), and the Provincial, Gilgit-Baltistan, ICT and AJK Health, Livestock, and Environment Departments and Ministries participated.

Pakistani Students Prepare for a Semester at American Universities


Through U.S. government-funded program, over 108 students from across Pakistan will spend a semester in the United States studying at colleges and universities alongside American peers.

During a pre-departure orientation in Islamabad, American Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Hoover congratulated the students who have been selected to participate in the fall 2018 Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD).

Chargé Hoover told the students they would become “powerful messengers” between the United States and Pakistan.  “You will tell stories that go beyond the headlines,” he said, “and your stories will give your friends and families a genuine understanding of the shared values between our two nations.”

2017 Global UGRAD alumna Fer Ghanaa Ansari shared stories of her year studying in New Jersey and explained how her time abroad changed her. “I fully realized all that I had gained from the UGRAD experience only after I came back,” she said.  “I gained confidence; I wanted to take more initiatives to make my country better; I wanted to remain an active member of my community.”

USEFP, a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States, helps the American Embassy administer the Global UGRAD Program in Pakistan.   Executive Director Rita Akhtar said that since the program began in 2010, more than 1,500 students have participated as Global UGrads, and 60 have gone on to study for Master’s or PhD degrees in the United States on the prestigious Fulbright Program.

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