Islamabad—Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization Anuradha Guptaat called on Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar here Friday to discuss collaboration in strengthening Pakistan’s child immunization program. The minister while welcoming the delegation said the government accords top most priority to health sector programs and initiatives aimed at protecting and safeguarding health and well being of women and children.
“We recognize that investment into protection of health of women and children is an investment into the future of our country.”
The Ministry has developed a ten point mother and new born child health Plan of Action in unison with the provincial governments to address major challenges in provision of services and their uptake by the communities. The ten point vision aims to address all issues related to mother and child in Pakistan especially priority areas of stillbirth, breast-feeding, immunization and improving access and quality of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition primary care community based service, informed the Minister.
She said a National Immunization Support Program has been developed in partnership with all stakeholders to sustain vaccination services in the country. Anuradha Gupta congratulated the Minister for Health on developing a plan of action for improving mother and child health and on strengthening immunization services.
Immunization is critical to achieving Sustainable Development Goals, she said. Immunization was the most cost-effective intervention which does not require brick and mortar, she added. She said US$ 835 million worth of support was being provided by GAVI to Pakistan for strengthening routine immunization for children and mothers. The support was likely to be enhanced to one billion US dollars by the year 2020, she said.
Anuradha informed that her organization was paying special attention to supporting Pakistan’s immunization program. She pointed out that special attention needs to be given to provision of cold chain for vaccines in underserved areas for improving vaccination coverage.