To reduce child mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases, the provincial government has decided to introduce an electronic registration programme for immunisation in the province.
Under the initiative, data of children would be linked with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
This was disclosed by sources at the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department with knowledge of the programme. They said that preparations for implementing the programme have been finalised and will soon be introduced.
The project will be first piloted in the provincial capital of Peshawar before being scaled up to the rest of the province in phases.
In this regard, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will provide tablet computers for vaccinators next month while 297 vaccinators from Peshawar will be trained to use them.
In the first phase, data of registered children will be linked to their records in NADRA through the electronic immunisation programme.
Moreover, data of some 717,036 children will be transferred to the electronic immunisation programme as vaccinators go door-to-door as part of the immunisation drive and also visit permanent health centres.
The electronic immunisation programme will enable mobile-based data entry of the child’s name, bio-data and immunisation history which is linked to a web-based monitoring dashboard.
This technological innovation is expected to increase routine immunisation enrolment, improve uptake and timeliness of vaccinations, generate real-time actionable data and improve quality, logistic management and monitoring of immunisation in the province.
One of the obvious aims of the programme is to also help lower the number of children who are missed during routine immunisation drives as well as refusal cases. The province has registered as many as 22 polio cases so far this year, down from the 93 confirmed last year.
PNC wants women to lead K-P nursing schools
An apex body of nurses in the country has urged the provincial health department to appoint women as heads of nursing schools, warning of cancelling registrations of all such institutions which are not led by women.
In a letter to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department, the Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) on Wednesday reiterated its opposition to the appointment of what it termed were ‘unprofessional male doctors’ heading public health schools in the province. Instead, they advocated for the appointment of qualified women in their stead.
In what is their second such letter sent to the provincial health department, the PNC threatened to revoke the registration of all such nursing schools which are headed by men unless the provincial health department replaces them with women.
Sources told that the Pakistan Nursing Council, in its 25th session, had taken several decisions regarding the nursing schools in K-P. The meeting had endorsed a decision to remove unprofessional doctors working as heads of nursing schools in the province and had also formally informed the K-P chief secretary about their decision.
The council had further directed to appoint senior nurses as principals of nursing schools.
K-P Director General Health Services and Professional Health Services Academy had also been informed in this regard, but no action was taken, the source said.
Public sector nursing schools located in Hayatabad, Nishtarabad, Dera Ismail Khan, and Abbottabad are being headed by men, the sources said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2020.
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