$830m sup­port be­ing pro­vided for Pak­istani chil­dren

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

Deputy Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Global Al­liance for Vac­cines and Im­mu­niza­tion Anuradha Gup­taat called on Min­is­ter for Na­tional Health Ser­vices Saira Afzal Tarar here Fri­day to dis­cuss col­lab­o­ra­tion in strength­en­ing Pak­istan's child im­mu­niza­tion pro­gram.

The min­is­ter while wel­com­ing the del­e­ga­tion said the govern­ment ac­cords top most pri­or­ity to health sec­tor pro­grams and ini­tia­tives aimed at pro­tect­ing and safe­guard­ing health and well be­ing of women and chil­dren.

"We rec­og­nize that in­vest­ment into pro­tec­tion of health of women and chil­dren is an in­vest­ment into the fu­ture of our coun­try." The Min­istry has de­vel­oped a ten point mother and new born child health Plan of Ac­tion in uni­son with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments to ad­dress ma­jor chal­lenges in pro­vi­sion of ser­vices and their up­take by the com­mu­ni­ties.

The ten point vi­sion aims to ad­dress all is­sues re­lated to mother and child in Pak­istan es­pe­cially pri­or­ity ar­eas of still­birth, breast­feed­ing, im­mu­niza­tion and im­prov­ing ac­cess and qual­ity of re­pro­duc­tive, ma­ter­nal, new­born, child and ado­les­cent health and nutri­tion pri­mary care com­mu­nity based ser­vice, in­formed the Min­is­ter. She said a Na­tional Im­mu­niza­tion Sup­port Pro­gram has been de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with all stake­hold­ers to sus­tain vac­ci­na­tion ser­vices in the coun­try.

Anuradha Gupta con­grat­u­lated the Min­is­ter for Health on de­vel­op­ing a plan of ac­tion for im­prov­ing mother and child health and on strength­en­ing im­mu­niza­tion ser­vices. Im­mu­niza­tion is crit­i­cal to achiev­ing Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals, she said. Im­mu­niza­tion was the most cost-ef­fec­tive in­ter­ven­tion which does not re­quire brick and mor­tar, she added. She said US$ 835 mil­lion worth of sup­port was be­ing pro­vided by GAVI to Pak­istan for strength­en­ing rou­tine im­mu­niza­tion for chil­dren and moth­ers. The sup­port was likely to be en­hanced to one bil­lion US dol­lars by the year 2020, she said. Anuradha in­formed that her or­ga­ni­za­tion was pay­ing spe­cial at­ten­tion to sup­port­ing Pak­istan's im­mu­niza­tion pro­gram. She pointed out that spe­cial at­ten­tion needs to be given to pro­vi­sion of cold chain for vac­cines in un­der­served ar­eas for im­prov­ing vac­ci­na­tion cov­er­age. Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion Sec­re­tary Min­istry of Na­tional Health Ser­vices Muham­mad Ayub Sheikh shared that it was a mat­ter of great sat­is­fac­tion that they have been able to turn around the sup­ply and man­age­ment of vac­cine and bring it at par with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

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