PESHAWAR: In a bid to improve the efficiency of routine immunisation campaigns, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) health department has proposed a plan to link payments to vaccinators with their performance.
“Simply put, if you do not come up to the required expectations, you will be highlighted in red and your payment will be stopped,” a health department official told The Express Tribune.
The official, who wished to remain unnamed, stated that the proposal was discussed during the ceremony which saw the department sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and the Telenor cellular network service – the latter has been assisting the programme.
Officials said that according to the international guidelines, as many as 1.5 people should be working on immunisation at the union council level.
However, given the dire health condition in Pakistan, this ratio had been enhanced to 2.5 in K-P so that more and more kids can be vaccinated.
“Yes, the reason why we have 2.5 people per union council is, that we want to reach more and more people,” the official said.
When asked, K-P Health Secretary Abid Majeed confirmed the developments. However he warned that it was still premature and that the health department will take all possible steps to ensure that the ratio for routine immunisation is increased.
According to officials, Tuesday’s agreement would see vaccinators being armed with Android-based devices with software to ensure that vaccinators visit their respective areas.
“The Geographical Information System directly communities with the district heads as to whether the vaccinators paid visits [to designated areas],” another official said, adding that “green signals will be received with the sitemap addressed and if not, it will blink red.”
The provincial health department has equipped some 3,000 vaccinators with smartphones linked to an online dashboard where all the district health officers and EPI coordinators can track and monitor the performance of each and every vaccinator.
The K-P health department has been focusing on boosting the vaccinator ratio for routine immunisation. With the polio workers making significant gains in helping control the transmission of the poliovirus, the department wants to task the polio staffers to carry out routine immunisation as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2017.
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