Sindh Health Ministry Pledges to Improve Immunization Program


by Hamna Bano

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Emphasizing the Government’s work to improve vaccination coverage, Dr. Azra Pechuho the Sindh Health Minister regretted the loss of life due to viral diseases. 


All of this was discussed at the annual Extended Program for Immunisation meeting held on Tuesday.    

Officials presenting the provincial and national EPI, WHO, GAVI, and Unicef were present at the meeting. Health Minister was informed of the challenges that come in the way of the National Immunisation Program that they said had made progress but failed. It was also told that it couldn't meet 100 percent coverage.  

Dr. Azra said, “The EPI program is an integral part of national health and it’s unacceptable that we are losing children to measles or meningitis in this day and age.”

These remarks were made keeping in view the backdrop of the recent loss of 19 lives in the area of Ali Muhammad Goth oF Keamari. The exact cause of death however is not known, the majority of victims have been observed to be children. One more thing to ponder here is that doctors at Dr. Ziauddin Hospital at Kemari said that all of these children were infected by measles. 

Meanwhile, efforts to achieve target coverage of Tybar-TVC, a typhoid conjugate vaccine in several cities including Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore were appreciated. 

Dr. Azra told the officials that the government was looking for areas to improve the immunization program. The government is also looking for possibilities o ad other vaccines into the EPI program. One of the top ones is the HPV vaccine that targets cervical cancer. 

The underscoring of the need of keeping a record of each birth was also discussed to be made part of the national immunization program. This target given by the Sindh Health Minister can be achieved by involving National Data Registration Authority and Federal Government.