Expressing her confidence in the leadership qualities of Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, Sindh health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho said he was “fully capable” of running the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C), arguing that it is not necessary for someone to be an expert of the area for which they have been made responsible in the government.
“Political will is more important to run a government department or a ministry than having any professional expertise, or management and leadership skills,” she said while addressing a news conference in connection with World Immunisation Week 2022.
“Abdul Qadir Patel is a good choice for being the federal health minister, who knows how to run a ministry and there is a team of experts at the ministry and in the party to help him out on technical issues,” Pechuho said.
Accompanied by Sindh Health Secretary Zulfiqar Shah, Sindh Assembly Parliamentary Health Secretary Qasim Soomro, Federal EPI Program Manager Akram Shah, Director General Health Sindh Dr Jumman Bahoto, Project Director EPI Sindh Dr Irshad Memon, she said every year around two million children needed to be vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases in the province.
Advising public and private schools not to give admissions to children whose routine vaccination was not complete, the provincial health minister stressed that every school administration should see the vaccination chart of a child whose parents wanted him or her to be enrolled at the school, and if the child was not vaccinated, the school administration should ask parents to get the child vaccinated.
“Children under the age of two years have the weakest immunity and they need to be given vaccines against preventable diseases. Our EPI program is offering 12 vaccines of international quality free of charge, so it is the responsibility of the parents to get their children vaccinated.”
Pechuho maintained that World Immunisation Week is observed in the last week of April every year and its objective is to emphasise the importance of vaccination of children, which protect the children from death and disability. She added that vaccines have eliminated from the world several diseases which are still killing people in Pakistan.
She claimed that so far 805 confirmed cases of measles had been reported in Sindh this year, and the disease had killed 23 children. She warned parents that measles was a highly infectious disease, which could even affect children with weak immunity.
“So it is my humble request that parents should get their children vaccinated against all the diseases and get all the boosters to their children so that they have the immunity to fight these dreaded diseases.”