Pak govt sets up EPI


Pakistan has struggled with high childhood and infant mortality rates, limited resources, inadequate health and medical services, and poor scores on most socio economic indicators.
These factors make children especially vulnerable to communicable diseases such as measles, pneumonia, and polio.
To combat these diseases Pakistan’s government set up the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), which included the Polio Eradication programme, in the late 1980s. Though the programme has made some progress, it is not achieving hoped for results.
Amongst the reasons for the failure of the programme to achieve desired results, vaccine hesitancy is cited as a pernicious variable by policy makers. Other critics blame poor governance and administrative structures.
We argue that, given Pakistan’s challenges and constraints, there are deficiencies on both the demand and supply side of vaccine services.
We hypothesise that the reforms that the Punjab government has introduced in the health sector in general, and in the EPI in particular, have been haphazard and piece meal.