Lahore—Punjab received pre-validation thumbs up in its bid to qualify for Mother and Neo Natal Tetanus elimination status following a visit of high-level delegation of UNICEF and WHO here on Tuesday.
The visiting delegation shared their findings in a debriefing session chaired by Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Ali Jan Khan in the provincial Emergency Operation Centre in the Directorate General Health Services. Director General Health Services Dr. Mukhtar Hussain Syed and senior officials of Punjab Expanded Program on Immunization also attended the session.
Punjab had applied for MNT Elimination status and the delegation comprising technical experts from WHO and UNICEF arrived in Pakistan in the first week of April to pre-validate Punjab’s request. The delegation randomly visited different districts of Punjab as part of pre-validation work.
The final validation will be conducted by another team of experts in October-November this year which will finally grant the MNT Elimination status to the province after detailed review of data and field assessment.
An official of the delegation said: “Findings from the data review and field assessment in the three purposely-selected districts based on their potential higher risk status for MNTE, are compatible with pre-validation criteria for maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination status in the three districts visited and, by extension, in the whole of Punjab Province.”
As a next step, the Government will request for the implementation of the validation survey for MNTE through WHO. The delegation made a number of recommendations for improvement which included suggestions of 2 doses in first pregnancy.