EWC Research Program Director Visits Pakistan

EWC Research Program Director, Dr. Nancy D. Lewis delivered a special lecture on Globalization and health in South Asia, organized by the Sustainable Developing Policy Institute in Islamabad, Pakistan on January 12, 2011. Dr Abid Q. Suleri, Executive Director of the Sustainable Development Policy Insitute (SDPI), conducted the proceedings and underlined the need for efficient track II diplomacy among nations to effectively deal with the growing economic and social challenges across globe.

Dr. Lewis shared her experiences of South Asia with the audience and talked on various aspects of concern including Asia’s population issues, environmental challenges, globalization and Asia’s health. Citing some key figures of global and Asian health situation, she underlined that a safer future was both a collective aspiration and a mutual responsibility.

Citing some key figures on the global and Asian health situation, she said there is a dire need for awareness among people and sensitization among policy-makers for upholding a basic standard of living.

Speaking of the multiple dimensions of global health, she said that global health was one of the most critical among Millennium Development Goals as there was a fertility decline and unprecedented urbanization, rising maternal and infant mortality rates. Talking of Pakistan’s water challenges and their implications on populations, she said that approximately 20-50% deaths of children under the age of 5 were due to waterborne diseases. Also, she reported that Pakistan is the 6th country among those having the highest prevalence rate of diabetes.

Highlighting gender equality in the MDG, she said ‘Triple Burden of Disease’ and agricultural practices, livelihood patterns and large population were some of the triggering factors of emerging infectious diseases in Asia Pacific and surrounding regions. She concluded her presentation by pointing out that Karachi was among the mega cities at risk with regards to environmental pollution and livelihood standards that can have drastic implications on the health of the population.