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> PILDAT Briefing Session on Immunization Campaigns: Challenges & way forward
   
 
Immunization Awareness Campaign
December 31, 2010
Islamabad

   

  • Pakistan is one of only four countries in world where polio still exists. In 2010 across Pakistan 140 cases of polio detected as compare to 86 cases last year.
  • We cannot go to FATA in near future and without help of Parliamentarians of the area polio cannot be eradicated, says Faisal Karim Kundi, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
  • Awareness campaign needed and parliamentarian has an important role to play in this regard, says Deputy Speaker National Speaker.

 
 

Islamabad, December 31: In a PILDAT briefing session on ‘Immunization Campaigns: Challenges and Way Forward”, experts were of the opinion that parliamentarians could have play an important role in immunization campaign and polio eradication cause. Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, Deputy Speaker National Assembly and Patron of the Parliamentary Caucus on the promotion of the Assembly said in the start of the session.

 
 

Experts gave astonishing facts that Pakistan is one of only four countries in the world where polio still exists, and Pakistan is the only country where number of polio cases is rising. In 2010 140 cases of polio detected as compare to 86 cases last year. In FATA and Interior Sindh polio cases increases in huge numbers.

 
 

Addressing at the occasion Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi said that we cannot go to FATA in near future without the help of parliamentarians. He said that Parliamentarians have an important role to play in this regard. He stressed upon the authorities to involve the parliamentarians in eradication of polio. He said that Parliamentarians will be more than happy to help the health officers who visit their area.

 
 

Dr. Altaf Bosan, National Progamme Manager-Expanded Programme of Immunization gave briefing on role of ministry of health in promoting immunization. He said that per child vaccination cost is 24.51 US dollar and per child cost in polio campaign is US 0.34 dollar. Dr. Bosan said that Approxiamtely. 5.8 million children and 6 million pregnant women got immunized during one year. Total coverage is reportedly 90% but we should conduct a neutral survey. While pointing out problems he said that in adequate human and financial resource, allocation and slow release of funds, lake of awareness and some health units are with EPI centre are main hurdles in the way.

 
 

Mr. Azhar Abid Raza, Health Specialist UNICEF gave briefing on importance of immunization campaigns and its challenges. He said that Polio campaign started in 1994. Target to reach 10 million children in 65 high risk districts was set in 2004 and 26 districts achieved elimination status in that year. In 2008-10 three special rounds of campaign held in 6 high risk districts in Punjab in which 80 to 90 % coverage is accessed.

 
 

Ms. Fozia Ejaz, MNA and Vice President, Parliamentary caucus while concluding the session said that awareness campaign is the most important aspect and parliamentarians should play their role in issues of national importance. She said that without local body system in place, reaching to the masses has become difficult.

 
 

More than 20 parliamentarians participated in the briefing session and highlighted various loopholes in the campaigns and stressed on the effective role of the Health Ministry in this regard.