LAHORE  -  Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid gave deadline of enhancing the immunization coverage to 90pc by June 2021 in a meeting at the Committee Room of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department. 

Present in the meeting were Secretary PSH Captain (retired), Usman Younis, Special Secretary Saqib Mannan, Additional Secretary Technical Dr Asim Altaf, Director General Health Services Punjab Dr Haroon Jahangir, Professor Javed Chaudhry, Director Punjab Hepatitis and Infection Control Program Dr. Khalid Mahmood, Director TB Control Program Dr Saeed Akhtar, Director EPI Dr Bashir Ahmed, Dr. Zulfiqar and Dr Naeem from IRMNCH Program, Director Policy and Strategic Planning Unit Shagufta Zarin, Director Non Communicable Disease Program and others. The Minister reviewed measures to improve immunization coverage, polio campaigns, new hiring and progress of communicable diseases in Punjab.

 Secretary PSH gave detailed briefing to Minister about the latest developments in vertical programs. 

The Health Minister said, “The freshly recruited 650 vaccinators must be posted immediately in all districts to improve coverage. These are in addition to over 1,100 vaccinators already brought in system recently. By end of December the process of addition of another 1,000 vaccinator will be completed and by this, hiring on 50% vacant positions will be completed. 

This is for the first time since 2014 that vaccinators in such numbers have been included in the system. Urban slums are fast emerging a problem area and there has to be a household survey. 

Every family head must be communicated the status of immunization of children through mobile phones. 

Special programme has to be initiated for Lahore and Dera Ghazi Khan to improve coverage with the help of latest technology. The micro plans of polio programme must be used for EPI Programme. 

All mother and child centres are being upgraded.”

Elaborating further, she said, “Each and every child must be vaccinated and Birth Registration certificate must be issued only after immunization of the children. The EPI Programme must restructure its system at divisional level and its staff must work in close collaboration with CEOs Health. 

As per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, we want to see healthy and disease free children.”