KARACHI        -      Senior infections control experts have called for urgent realization on part of masses as well as healthcare providers about importance of vaccination as an efficient tool to prevent series of infections taking heavy toll on public health.

Addressing a session organized by Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Society of Pakistan (MMIDSP), the speakers reiterated that emergence of new infections coupled with surge in the incidence of already identified infectious diseases in the country, demanded urgent focus on prevention oriented healthcare approach.

Dr. Bushra Jamil, Dr.Fyezah Jehan, Dr. Rehana Siddiqui, Dr.Ali Faisal Salim and Dr. Sunil Dodani emphasized need to dispel public misconceptions about readily available “vaccines” including oral polio vaccine (OPV) and injectable polio vaccine (IPV) as well as that of typhoid conjugate vaccine and flu shots.

These were cited to be as the most effective tools to prevent some of the most rampant infections posing sever threat to the public life, particularly the children.

Agreeing with the fact that improved sanitation and sewerage system along with comprehensive measures to combat pollution (atmospheric/water) were needed to combat the menace of these diseases, the expert said the above mentioned vaccines were interventions that could make immediate difference.

Speakers called for strengthening the routine immunization program for children in the country reiterating that absolute commitment was required at every level for the sake of a healthy nation.

“Ours is the country still struggling with the polio menace while countries like India and Bangladesh with almost similar problems as that of ours managed to achieve zero polio prevalence and sustain the same years ago,” said Dr. Ali Faisal Saleem. He was of the opinion that there was no reason that Pakistan may not win its battle against the crippling disease through sheer would and commitment towards the cause.

“Fortunately the government was currently taking measures,including reliance on self generated resources (funds) for polio elimination,” he said mentioning that this was reflective of its keenness to eradicate polio.

Dr. Fyezah Jehan, a pediatrician by qualification and working on infection control among children discussed in detail the importance of typhoid conjugate vaccine.

Referring to the first ever TCV campaign launched to protect children aged between three months to 15 years against the disease, she said this was to protect children against a disease that was established to acquire drug resistance in the local environs (that is our country).

It was being funded by GAVI and supported by WHO with due care towards its quality, she said reminding that no compromise was possible in its quality nor any adverse impact could be possible hence parents must avail of the facility being made absolutely free of cost to their children.

About anti influenza vaccine, she said cases of flu acquire serious proportions in the country during winters and it was appropriate that people, as an important precautionary measure get themselves vaccinated against the ailment.

Dr. Bushra Jamil, Dr. Farzana Siddiqui and Dr. Sunil Dodani supplementing their two colleagues also highlighted importance of regular training of concerned personnel.

MMIDSP was said to be actively engaged with the government to help improve capacity building of healthcare providers, belong to both public and private sectors, in handling of both viral and bacterial infection cases reported to them in their respective settings.

Concerted efforts were said to be initiated for the purpose that but needed adequate understanding on part of people in general to help avert severity of situation  with every possibility of turning into emergency situation.