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Pakistan among countries with rising malaria, tuberculosis infections

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  • Huge surges in malaria infections after floods in Pakistan.
  • Increase in weather events leaving poorer populations vulnerable.
  • Tuberculosis cases also rising in Pakistan. 

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND: There has been a huge surge in malaria and tuberculosis cases in Pakistan amongst the poorest populations of the country due to recent catastrophic floods.

These revelations were made during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos by the executive director of the world’s biggest health fund in Davos on Monday.

Climate change is increasing malaria infections, said Peter Sands, the executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He added that the malaria infections followed by recent floods in Pakistan and cyclones in Mozambique in 2021 are increasing.

The increase in extreme weather events, and the resulting large pools of standing water that attract mosquitoes, are leaving poorer populations vulnerable.

He said climate change was also changing the geography of mosquitoes. The highlands of Africa, in Kenya and Ethiopia, are now succumbing to malaria because of a shift in the low temperatures that once made the area unsustainable for mosquitoes.

Sands runs the world’s largest global fund, which invests in fighting tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS in some of the poorest nations in the world.

The fund, which set a target of raising $18 billion, has so far raised $15.7 billion, the largest amount of money ever raised in global health.

Part of the shortfall, he said, was a billion-dollar hit from currency fluctuations that affected donations.

Looking ahead, climate change is just one of the factors that could hamper efforts to eradicate the diseases, Sands said.

The war in Ukraine has led to a worsening of AIDS and tuberculosis. In middle-income countries such as India, Pakistan and Indonesia, tuberculosis cases amongst the poorest populations are also rising.

With fears of a global recession rising, Sands said those countries would come under increased pressure.

“I think the big concern from our perspective is what happens to health budgets in the 120 or so countries we are investing.”

And even within those health budgets, how much is being taken up by COVID?”

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Senate Session: Senate Proceeds With Debate On Important National Issues

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Today, the Senate reconvened in the Parliament House in Islamabad, with Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani presiding.

The House has persisted in debating matters of national significance.

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Elections

Government Formation: PML-N & PPP To Hold New Round Of Talks Today

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The Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would begin their second round of negotiations today.

In a casual chat with reporters, PML-N Leader Azam Nazir Tarar stated that the negotiations are progressing well.

Tarar went on to say that some decisions on PPP’s involvement in the Cabinet had already been made.

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Business

Over 600 points are added by PSX in intraday trading.

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Tuesday’s lunchtime trading on the Pakistan Stock Exchange saw favorable activity.

During intraday trading, the benchmark KSE-100 Index increased by 672.08 points, or 1.11%, and was trading at 61131.82 levels.

The KSE-30 Index was trading at 20,558.31 after adding 211.46 points, or 1.04%.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) had another round of discussions for the establishment of a central government the day before the rally in the local stock exchange.

In the meanwhile, Fitch Ratings has issued a warning, stating that the likelihood of default would rise in the event of a drawn-out discussion or the inability to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the State Bank of Pakistan, which reported net foreign reserves of $8 billion as of February 9, 2024, up from a low of $2.9 billion on February 3, 2023, Pakistan’s external situation has improved recently.

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