Sindh to launch the world’s largest vaccination drive against measles

KARACHI: The Sindh government has planned to conduct the world’s largest immunisation programme against dangerous illnesses in the province beginning November 15 in order to safeguard youngsters from measles and rubella, according to The News.
So far this year, 38 children have died in the province as a result of measles. Officials said Monday that during the 12-day vaccination push, 19 million youngsters aged 9 months to 15 years would be given required doses of measles and rubella vaccine. In addition, two drops of polio vaccine will be administered to 8 million children under the age of five as part of this programme.

Measles, one of the world’s most contagious illnesses, has claimed 38 deaths in Sindh in the first nine months of this year alone, with 2,489 cases documented in the province.

“Every child in the province would be given a shot of Measles and Rubella vaccination from November 15-27, 2021 to prevent more deaths,” Project Director of Expanded Program (EPI) Dr Irshad Memon on Immunization (EPI) said at a news conference.

The EPI Project Director, accompanied by Director General Health Sindh Dr Juman Bahoto, renowned paediatrician Dr Khalid Shafi, Director Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority Dr Durre Naz, Dr Ahmed Ali Shaikh, and others, asked parents to vaccinate their children up to the age of 15 years.

“Both measles and rubella are vaccine-preventable viral infections.” However, if children are not immunised against them, they can result in death, blindness, pneumonia, brain infection, and other lasting problems,” Dr Irshad Memon stated, urging the media to back the province’s drive.

He insisted that the new Measles-Rubella vaccine would be deployed throughout the immunisation campaign in all Sindh Union Councils, with a target of 18.6 million children, with the assistance of UNICEF and WHO.

EPI has enlisted a large workforce to ensure the success of this campaign, including more than 15,000 Skilled Immunization Personnel (Vaccinators, Medical Technicians, and Lady Health Visitors); 43,624 non-skilled staff to help during the campaign; and around 3,265 supervisors for monitoring.

In partnership with the Pakistan Pediatrics Association, doctors from public and private hospitals have also been recruited to help with the campaign.

To guarantee that the campaign’s maximal aim is met, there is close collaboration with religious leaders, education agencies, the media, and civil society organisations.

According to Dr. Khalid Shafi, Secretary-General of the Pakistan Pediatric Association, the EPI is providing free immunizations against 12 avoidable diseases.

“Low vaccination coverage, on the other hand, has a negative impact on other maternal and child health measures.” Dr. Durre Naz stated, “The push to prioritise immunisation is critical in giving fair access to vital vaccines for all children and saving more lives.”


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