ISLAMABAD: The Minister of National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar said the Ministry of National Health Services, deals with SDG 3 — Healthy lives for all and for all ages. We all know that the SDG 3 requires a focus on the social determinants of health and other cross cutting issues which impact health. She was addressing the SDGs workshop at Pakistan Academy of Sciences in Islamabad on Tuesday.While endorsing the SDG agenda in early 2016, the Government of Pakistan expected all the principal implementers of SDGs to commit to achieve the SDGs in their entirety.The minister said: “We initiated work on the SDGs last year and in consultation with all stakeholders developed the National Health Vision 2025 with seven pillars providing a roadmap for our commitment to SDG 3 in the national and international context.”“For the implementation of the vision, our ministry is playing a coordination and stewardship role, working closely with the respective implementers.”She said as a prelude to the development of a National Action Plan on SDGs, “we held a consultative meeting of all stakeholders at the national and provincial levels in September 2016. We were able to take all stakeholders on board and develop synergies and partnerships. As a follow up of the launch of our Health Vision, we held an Inter-Provincial Health Ministers meeting in December 2016 where agreement was reached on sharing of data with the Ministry of National Health Services on a regular basis for national reporting and on establishing SDG units in the provinces.”The minister further said for SDG 3, there were 13 targets and 26 proposed indicators, modifiable to suit the specific country contexts. “Our ministry has started in-depth discussions to develop context based SMART indicators for Pakistan. In this regard, consultative meetings with provinces are in progress.”“I am pleased to note that this workshop builds on the progress made hence far and is the first of a series of workshops to help Pakistan take significant strides in achieving all the targets set in the health related SDGs.” She said: “Let me share that under the leadership of our Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, our ministry is playing a key role in rolling out the Prime Minister’s National Health Programme. This is going to greatly help us in realising the goal of universal health coverage by providing access to quality health care to people living below the poverty line.” She added: “I endorse the formation of a joint health SDG committee involving the academia, the science community, the parliamentarians, the governments and the civil society.” This group will identify gaps and develop priority costed action plans to fill these gaps, which will be in line with the National Health Vision 2025.“We also endorse the need to develop a monitoring and accountability mechanism to get required outcomes and this is the responsibility of this group to coordinate development of specific, measurable indicators.”The minister assured on the part of the Ministry of National Health Services that “we would follow up on the recommendations of this workshop for their implementation in letter and spirit.”“I would like to congratulate all the organisers including WHO, Aga Khan University, Pakistan Academy of Sciences and Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, for holding this intensive workshop which is another step forward towards our global commitment to Sustainable Development Goals.”Director General Health, Dr. Asad Hafeez, said that the principle objective of this workshop, was to involve the science community in a big way in the multi-stakeholder planning exercise on public health and nutrition in Pakistan and Sustainable Development Goals. A better and broader understanding of science is very critical for achieving SDGs as it is science, which provides the new foundations for new approaches and technologies to identify, clarify and tackle global challenges for the future.Policy experts and policymakers prepared detailed roadmaps to help Pakistan achieve commitments under five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at a special two-day session organised by Aga Khan University in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health Services and Regulation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences.The SDGs span a set of 169 detailed targets across 17 inter-linked policy areas that 193 nations, including Pakistan, have committed to achieve over the next thirteen years.The two-day workshop saw over 80 specialists in health, nutrition, poverty, education, and water and sanitation assess evidence on the effectiveness of existing policy initiatives and share insights on where coordinated action could achieve the greatest impact.