Zaeem Zia

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Zaeem Zia
District Health Officer Islamabad
In office
2020 – Present
District Health Officer Hunza
In office
Director Health Information Gilgit Baltistan
In office
Personal details
AwardsPresidential Award on Emergency Response on COVID19

Dr. Muhammad Zaeem Zia (Urdu: ضعیم ضیاء) MD-MPH (USA) is a Pakistani healthcare professional and Fulbright scholar currently in the role of District Health Officer Islamabad[1]. Prior to this, he held the position of District Health Officer in Hunza[2] and Nagar. As a public health professional, he worked in the areas of program management, health systems, and emergency relief programs. For his emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic[3], he received the Presidential Award (3rd ICCI Achievement Awards 2020)/Awarded by The President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi).

Early Education and Background

Zaeem Zia was born in Gilgit and is one of six brothers and one sister. He completed his schooling in Gilgit before earning his MBBS degree from Nishtar Medical University in 2007. Zia then moved to the United States on Fulbright Scholarship[4], where he obtained a Master's degree in Public Health from John Hopkins University in 2013. During his stay in the U.S., he also earned a diploma in DPG Health Administration Policy from the University of Oklahoma in 2012 and received certification from the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates in 2013.

Zaeem Zia's father, Muhammad Amin Zia, is a well-known personality in the region, renowned as a teacher, poet, and writer. Zaeem Zia has acknowledged in interviews that his father's counsel during his early years played a significant role in his achievements and success.

Additionally, Zaeem Zia's sister Sadia Danish is a notable political figure in the region, serving as the Deputy Speaker of the Gilgit Baltistan Assembly[5] and holding the position of president of the women's wing of the Pakistan People's Party Gilgit Baltistan.


2020 - Present: He currently serves as the District Health Officer in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he has been in the role since February 2020. In this position, he led the COVID-19 pandemic response in Islamabad, introducing advanced contact tracing and bolstering hospital capacity. He supervises District Health Office activities, including the Expanded Program on Immunization, Development projects,[6] Drugs licensing and issuing, Procurement section, Dengue control activities,[7][8] DHO Administration, and Universal Health Coverage Unit.

2019 - 2020: Previously, from January 2019 to January 2020, Dr. Zia held the post of District Health Officer for Hunza and Nagar Districts within the Ministry of Health Gilgit Baltistan. His contributions included maintaining a polio-free status[9], supervising the healthcare team, overseeing critical performance indicators, and enhancing healthcare infrastructure.

2018 - 2019: In his role as Director of Health Information Systems and Deputy Director of Planning for the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan from January 2018 to January 2019, Dr. Zaeem Zia looked after reporting systems, ensuring the accuracy of health data and promoting evidence-based decision-making.

2017 - 2018: From January 2017 to January 2018, he served as Assistant Director of Health Services in Gilgit-Baltistan, overseeing primary healthcare services, disease surveillance, and collaboration with international health partners. Dr. Zia also played a pivotal role in implementing health information systems and leading various health initiatives.

2015 - 2017: Between April 2015 and January 2017, Dr. Zia provided his services as Assistant Director of Programs and Deputy Director of the Prime Minister's Health Program in Pakistan. During this tenure, he coordinated with national and international agencies, developed work plans for maternal and child health programs, and facilitated policy documents and stakeholder meetings. He also played a key role in monitoring and evaluating health activities and devising policy documents for healthcare programs.

2014 - 2015: In addition, Dr. Zia served as the Provincial Coordinator for the Medical Technicians Program from March 2014 to March 2015. In this role, he managed human resources, provided content leadership, and fostered collaboration among various stakeholders in healthcare capacity-building programs.


  • Presidential Award (3rd ICCI Achievement Awards 2020)/Awarded by The President of Pakistan, on Emergency Response on COVID19.[10]
  • Appreciation Award by Prime Minister of Pakistan (2020) in response of EXEMPLARY COVID19 RESPONSE in the Federal Capital, Islamabad.
  • Pride of Pakistan, 23rd March, 2021
  • Nominee for the Sitara e Hayat, for the COVID 19 frontline workers
  • Tweet of Appreciation from the State Secretary of the United States, Mike Pompeo.
  • Letter of Commendation on Exemplary Leadership in Fight Against COVID-19 from Federal Secretary Health
  • The Letter of Appreciation from the Senate of Pakistan, Standing Committee on Interior, on Services Rendered During COVID19 waves for implementing Effective Strategy in the Federal Capital.
  • The Enabler Award, from the Women of Wonders, WOW Pakistan for the efforts on inclusion of women in the leadership role in Healthcare.
  • Appreciation Award by the Chairman National Command and Operations Center, for Emergency Response (NCOC), Mr. Asad Umar The Planning Minister, Federal Minister.
  • Featured in the “Fulbright Luminaries and Leaders Series of United Education Foundation”,[11] premiered on the 75th Anniversary of the Pak-US Friendship.


  1. Azad, Abdul Rasheed (2023-08-09). "DHO issues dengue alert for ICT". Brecorder. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  2. "THQ Hospital Gulmit Gojal gets latest equipment, more staff". PAMIR TIMES. 2019-02-24. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  3. "What is the secret? How Pakistan defeated coronavirus". 2020-09-09. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  4. "Zaeem Zia & Muhammad Moiz". Fulbright Split Screen. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  5. Nagri, Jamil (2023-07-18). "Sadia Danish becomes GB's first woman deputy speaker". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  6. "Capital to have 13 more primary health centres". The Express Tribune. 2022-09-07. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  7. "Dengue cases drop in Islamabad". The Express Tribune. 2021-11-02. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  8. "Islamabad records highest single-day rise in dengue cases this month". Arab News. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  9. Desk, NNPS (2022-11-26). "Seven-days anti-polio campaign launched in ICT". Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  10. "Achievement awards bestowed upon DC, DHO". Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  11. "USEFP Trailblazers Pave the Way Forward | The USEFP Gazette". Retrieved 2023-12-01.

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