ISLAMABAD-Federal Government Polyclinic (FGPC) hospital in collaboration with Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) on Wednesday launched a new immunisation centre at its G-7 Civil Dispensary to ensure routine vaccination of children of surrounding areas.

The centre with having long-time cold-chain storage capacity will provide free immunisation services to children up to 15 months against 10 fatal diseases including polio, meningitis, hepatitis, measles, tuberculosis, pneumonia, pertussis and diarrhea.

Addressing the launching ceremony, National Programme Manager Expanded Programme on Immunisation Dr Arshad K Chandio said that the new EPI centre has been started with expanded facilities to serve the surrounding population and to enhance immunisation services.

He expressed the hope that the neighbour population will get maximum advantage of this centre and ensure to implement routine vaccination of their children.

He said the EPI has initiated this step with the start of new EPI centres in the federal capital with the vision to make federal capital a model health city.

He said that on the occasion of World Immunisation Week (April 24-30) four immunisation centres have been launched in the federal capital including two at private facilities and two at public hospitals to ensure every child gets vaccine against 10 deadly diseases.

Dr Arshad said, “We are integrating and linking EPI services with provincial health services. Federal EPI and all health staff including doctors and nurses are committed to provide immunisation services to every child in Pakistan.”

He vowed that the government was committed in saving lives of vulnerable children by ensuring smooth supply of vaccines against these 10 vaccine preventable diseases across the country.

He said that with continuous effort, the programme has made significant progress towards this national goal for delivering safe and effective vaccines. He reiterated that together as one team, we can strengthen immunity amongst children and build a healthy nation.

Executive Director FGPC Dr Shahid Hanif expressed the hope that this immunisation centre will share the burden of other vaccination centres working in the federal capital as sufficient stock of vaccine will remain available in the centre under the supervision of trained staff of the hospital with cold-chain facility and maintenance of vaccine quality. He said that routine immunisation of children up to 15 months is essential to control infant mortality rate in the country and said that this centre will protect many children from carrying fatal disease by providing free immunisation cover. He said that the hospital was already running many vaccination centres in the federal capital and added that there is a plan to upgrade further centres with the support of EPI.

He said that with the support of EPI better facilities will be provided at all FGPC’s immunisation centres in the federal capital.

He said that immunisation is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions to save the lives of children. The push to prioritise immunisation is essential in providing equitable access to essential vaccines for all children and save more lives, he added.

World Health Organisation’s EPI head in Pakistan Dr Usama and Dr Hamid Raza from GAVI also attended the event.