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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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The PML-N is rushing to outlaw PTI and is asking President Zardari’s approval.

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The government on Friday decided to engage with its ally, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), in an attempt to lessen the strain brought on by the ruling of the supreme court to award reserved seats to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the negative reaction it received after declaring the PTI was banned.

Specifics state that President Asif Ali Zardari will also be present at the consultative meeting with the leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) on the subject.

Participants in the meeting, which would see the Attorney General brief them on the various legal elements of the cases, included PML-N leaders Ishaq Dar, Azam Tarar, Atta Tarar, Irfan Qadir, Ahad Cheema, and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Ayyar Bokhari, Sherry Rehman, and Farooq H. Naek would be attending the meeting on behalf of the PPP.

The PML-N leaders, according to sources, would also have faith in the PPP leadership when it came to using Article 6 to remove three of the PTI’s most important leaders.

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Interior Minister Visits Mardan, Praising KP Police’s Insurgency Efforts

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On a visit to Takht Bhai, Mardan, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi offered the bereaved family of martyred constable Omar Nabi his deepest sympathies and condolences.

The interior minister praised the bravery and sacrifices made by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police in their conversation with the family of the policeman who was killed in action.

In addition to denouncing the terrorist attack on the police checkpoint in Takht Bhai, Mohsin Naqvi prayed for the quick healing of the two injured constables.

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The Punjab government’s “Roshan Gharana Program” would provide solar panels on easy installment plans.

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A program called “Roshan Gharana” has been developed by the Punjab government in response to the rising cost of electricity. Under this program, customers who use up to 500 units of electricity throughout the province would receive solar panels upon easy setup.

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