Punjab Minister for Primary & Secondary Health (P&SH) Khawaja Imran Nazir has said that visionary decision of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to bifurcate the health department into two separate departments, has brought amazing impact on the health sector development and by creating P&SH department, people are not only enjoying quality healthcare facilities at primary level but the preventive program is being implemented in an effective manner which would save millions of rupees spending on the curative part.
He was addressing the launching ceremony of DTP booster vaccine in EPI Program at a local hotel here on Thursday. The DTP vaccine would provide shield to the children against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. Besides, Secretary Health Ali Jan Khan, Director General Health Services, Dr Munir Ahmad, Senior Officers of the Department, representatives of International Development Partners, Health Workers and Vaccinators attended the launching ceremony.
Imran Nazir said that during the last two years a number of new vaccines have been introduced in the EPI program including ROTA virus and Hepititis-B birth dose. Now, by launching the DTP booster vaccine in EPI Program, Punjab has become first province in the country to introduce this vaccine.
Khwaja Imran Nazir further said that children get pentavalent vaccine at the age of six, ten and fourteen weeks to protect from diphtheria, pertusis and tetanus, however when they grow up the immunity level becomes low, therefore, DTP booster dose is very essential to the children at the age of four/five years to ensure their immunity against the said diseases. Therefore, government has introduced DTP booster for this purpose on which rupees 500 Million would be spent.
Khawaja Imran Nazir said that all the provincial governments and political leadership of Pakistan should stand above from the political differences and work for the betterment of the future generation. He was of the view that a joint strategy should be adopted and consolidated steps must be taken to eradicate polio, malnutrition and to overcome the maternal and infant mortality from the country.
The Minister said that polio workers teams visit door to door for immunization of those children whom they have no blood relation in order to prevent them from permanent disability, but some families do not cooperate and misbehave with the visiting teams, which is regrettable. Khwaja Imran Nazir said that it is also the responsibility of parents to pay attention on the health of their children and get them immunized.
On this occasion, representatives of UNICEF Mr Douglas, Dr Jamshed of WHO Punjab and Dr Raul Bonifico congratulated the Punjab Government for introducing of DTP booster dose in EPI. Mr Douglas said that CM Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and his team has paid special attention on the health sector development, specially prevention of diseases programme.