Islamabad - The health ministries in the country will finalise a plan and start a vaccination campaign in high-risk areas to counter the spread of measles across the country, said an official on Tuesday.

 The decision was taken in a meeting of Pakistan Health and Population Strategic Forum where key decisions were taken to fight disease and improve health status of the population.

The meeting was chaired by Federal Minister National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar and participated by Provincial Ministers and senior officials.

The meeting agreed to launch an anti-measles vaccination campaign in high risk areas of the country from April next year and hold a nationwide anti-measles drive in October 2018. A Plan of Action will be finalized with mutual consultation of all provinces.

Speaking on the occasion Federal Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar said the Federal Government’s mandate is to provide stewardship and coordination.

The ministry has been striving to provide suitable platforms to ensure harmonization of various areas in health and population, particularly those which require a coordinated national approach, she said.

The meeting concluded on the agreement that a separate briefing will be given to Health Minister, Sindh on IDSR and all provinces/ areas to finalize their PC-1s by March 2018 for piloting IDSR. 

It was also decided that a donor coordination meeting will be held exclusively for Baluchistan in February/March, 2018 whereas Pool procurement of imported contraceptive commodities at Federal level would be undertaken. 

It was agreed that Federal Minister of NHSR&C would raise the HRH issue in the Council of common interest to recognize investment in HRH as a productive area for economic growth & jobs creation.

The meeting decided to develop National HRH Vision document in consultation with provinces and regions by M/o NHSR&C by end of Feb. 2018 and develop provincial HRH Strategies by end of April 2018.

The Provincial Health Ministers including Khawaja Imran Nazir of Punjab and Rehmat Saleh Baloch of Balochistan appreciated the services of Saira Afzal Tarar in leading in the health sector of Pakistan.