In order to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated under the government’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), the city government on Monday directed officials to deny requests for birth certificates and admissions in schools if parents do not submit a vaccination card.
A letter to the effect will be sent by the office of the Local Government assistant director to all union councils. The executive district officer (Education) was also directed by the DCO to make vaccination card mandatory for the admission of child in school.
According to the EPI website, the programme targets eight diseases: polio, neonatal tetanus, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B & C, pneumonia, meningitis and tuberculosis. The website warns that if the EPI is discontinued, about 1,000 children (under the age of five) would die every day in Pakistan.
On Monday, District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal chaired a meeting in connection with the EPI. He directed the officials concerned to vaccinate children against viral diseases like measles, tuberculoses and polio. He asked the officials to ensure that the vaccination drives against measles and tuberculoses are a success “like the campaign against polio”. He directed officials to ensure that the vaccinations should be available at all static centres. To create awareness among the public about the vaccination drives, he suggested that banners and steamers be displayed on all major roads and places.
Town Administrators were instructed to hold meetings, twice a week, to review the performance of the vaccinators involved with the programme.
Vaccinators would be provided with ‘reflective jackets’ so they can be easily recognised.
Mengal directed executive district officer (EDO) (Health) to depute staff for vaccination at hospitals, basic health unites and rural health centres and to attach CDC supervisors and sanitary inspectors with vaccinators.
“I need hundred per cent results in the vaccination [drive] against measles, tuberculoses and Hepatitis B & C,” said the DCO. The meeting was attended by District Officer (Coordination) Sahibzadi Waseema Omer, assistant commissioners and administrators of all towns of the city, town municipal officers, district officer (Health), deputy district officers (Health) in the city’s nine towns and representatives of the World Health Organisation and the UNICEF.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2013.