Each year World Immunization Week is celebrated from 24th April to 30th April with the purpose to promote vaccination. In Pakistan it was also celebrated by Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination and the Federal EPI on 26th April 2021.
The theme for the event was “Vaccines bring us closer”, the purpose was to emphasize on the need for vaccination which can save millions of lives in Pakistan each year.
Dr. Akram Shah, National Program Manager, Federal EPI was also among the speakers for the event during which he stressed on greater engagement globally to promote vaccination which can bring people closer and improve their lives.
While talking at the event Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, Director General Health said that:
“Immunizing children with vaccines can avert up to 17% of childhood mortality in Pakistan and thus help contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, on reducing child morbidity and mortality.”
It should be noted that there are numerous diseases which can be prevented through the routine childhood immunization which is provided for free by the government. It includes vaccines for diseases such as tuberculosis, polio (OPV & IPV), measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, haemophilus influenza type B, hepatitis B, diarrhea, pneumonia, , and typhoid.
This free immunization program is made possible by the cooperation of government EPI, Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance, the WHO and UNICEF.
Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, commended the efforts and work of frontline health workers and community leaders who make the vaccination program successful.
Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health emphasized on the need of vaccination and said that it is our collective responsibility to bring the benefits of immunization to all, he also urged parents to get their children vaccinated because protected families will ensure a protected community.