Measles, mother and neo-natal tetanus, polio eradication: Minister concerned over poor results of Immunization

Islamabad, June 27, 2013 (PPI-OT): Chairing a meeting regarding Expanded Programme of Immunization, Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Ms. Saira Afzal Tarar expressed her concern over poor coverage and results of routine immunization in Pakistan. The meeting was attended by the Sr. Joint Secretary National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Mr. Arshad Farooq Faheem, Director General (Health) Qazi Abdur Saboor,National Programme Manager EPI and all concerned.

“We have been advocating for strong routine immunization but were unable to achieve the desired immunization coverage for measles, mother and neo-natal tetanus elimination and polio eradication”, the Minister said. She added that the international health agencies have also expressed concerns that we have not been able to protect our children against vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs).

She went on to say that we have to protect the poorest of the poor from disease and disability by reaching out to them with Primary Health Care Services including vaccination against diseases.

Highlighting the media’s role she stressed mass mobilization through print and electronic media. She also stressed the need for proper vaccine management and logistic support system. Given the importance of Strong Monitoring, evaluation and accountability system, she urged to increase the involvement of area public representatives in EPI and Polio campaigns.

Meanwhile, Danish delegation headed by Ambassador of Denmark, Emil Mocsby along with vice president Novo Nordisk (The Diabetes Care Company) called on the Minister. The agenda of the meeting was to look into ways to defeat diabetes at all stages of its progression.

During the meeting the participants discussed ways and means of new intervention within the health sector; special emphasis was on matters matter related to strengthening health system and plans to overcome diabetes. The Minister of State apprised the delegation that with the newly defined role of the Ministry, she hopes to see marked improvement in coordination.

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