With 2.1 million children to vaccinate, we are faced with the challenge of not only immunizing children in hard to reach areas but reaching every child in the Quetta block as well, Dr. Ishaque Panezai, Deputy Programme Manager Expanded Programme on Immunization,
Balochistan was sharing his concerns with representatives of Civil Society Organizations at the Provincial Expanded Programme on Immunization in Quetta.
The National Measles Campaign will start from 15th October throughout the country to give supplementary immunization to children against Measles. The 12 day campaign in the province will cover an estimated 2.1 million children between the ages of 9 months to 5 years of age.
A detailed presentation briefed the CSOs on the number of target children, age group, duration and magnitude of the campaign.
Balochistan with an area of 347,190 sq-km is the largest province of Pakistan. The population density is low due to mountainous terrain thus leading to serious geographical barriers to service delivery. The province has one of the lowest development index and highest maternal mortality ration of live births compared to national figure.
In the last couple of years,  EPI Balochistan has made significant investments in strengthening the Routine Immunization (RI) service delivery including improving the cold chain system across the province, providing motorbikes to enable vaccinators reaching every community and launching android based mobile monitoring system for tracking vaccinator’s performance.
Although according to the latest Pakistan DHS 2017-2018, immunization coverage in Balochistan has increased (from 16 percent in 2012/2013) to 29 percentfully immunized children Balochistanstill holds the lowest position amongst the provinces of Pakistan.
Major reasons behind the alarming situation stand an inadequate allocation of financial and human resources to the EPI program, management of the program at the provincial and district level,
non-availability of data regarding the population figures, vaccine availability, storage/handling and above all awareness and willingness of the masses to get their children vaccinated.

Source: Daily Express Balochistan


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