Savaira Hosts Symposium on Integrated Mental Health

Savaira organized a well-attended symposium to create awareness on integrated mental health at Iqra University. Our distinguished keynote speaker was Professor Dr. Zafar Mirza, Director, Health System Development, WHO Eastern Mediterranean region. He spoke about inclusion of mental health services as part of Sustainable Development Goals for universal health coverage. Pakistan is suffering from a public health crisis due to the lack of prioritization by successive governments. 70 % of health services are being provided by the private sector and only 0.04 % of the meagre health budget is allocated to mental health. Dr Mirza felt that mental health is too important to be left to the health sector, and requires a systems approach.

After Dr. Mirza’s speech, there was an enlightening and thought-provoking panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Taha Sabri, COO, Taskeen Health Initiative. The panel comprised Dr. Abdul Bari Khan, President, Indus Hospital, Dr Asif Imam, Chairman/ Founder, Sina Clinics and Ms Aneeta Pasha, Country Director, IRD. The panelists emphasized the importance of integrating mental health into primary healthcare and education, shared international best practices and strategies to promote mental well-being and ensure access to treatment. The discussion was followed by a Q&A session, presentation of souvenirs by Dr Yasmeen Khan and closing speech by Dr. Mirza A. Haq, Registrar of Iqra University.