In the February 2023 issue of The Lancet Global Health, the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study Pakistan Collaborators published a comprehensive report analysing the health trends and burden of disease in Pakistan from 1990 to 2019.
This study asserts the need to address the burden of infectious disease and restrain rising rates of non-communicable diseases. It points out that Pakistan has improved on most health performance indicators, such as life expectancy and healthy life expectancy; however, gender and regional disparities still exist. For example, in Punjab, the most populated province with 110 million residents, life expectancy has improved by around 9·38% from 1990 to 2019, the most by any province in Pakistan. On the other hand, the Baluchistan province, with a population of 8 million, has the lowest life expectancy (63·4 years), with an improvement of just 3·22% from 1990 to 2019. We stress the need to address these disparities by equitable investment in the health system to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) in the country.