Concern over low immunisation coverage in Balochistan

Updated November 23, 2019

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"Balochistan is the province with the lowest vaccination coverage in Pakistan," says Gavi the Vaccine Alliance. — AFP/File
"Balochistan is the province with the lowest vaccination coverage in Pakistan," says Gavi the Vaccine Alliance. — AFP/File

QUETTA: The issue of low immunisation coverage in Balochistan was raised by a mission of Gavi the Vaccine Alliance during meetings with Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani and the officials concerned.

“Balochistan is the province with the lowest vaccination coverage in Pakistan,” Thabani Maphosa, the head of the mission and the alliance’s managing director, told the meetings. “In this regard the province has many problems such as inadequate number of vaccinators, untimely release of insufficient operational funds under the NISP and transition of EPI resources to non-development budget.

“The operational funds for the Extended Programme of Imm­unisation (EPI) under the National Immunisation Support Programme (NISP) have been significantly decreased in 2019-20 and funding cuts will impact the EPI’s capacity to save lives,” the mission said.

According to the Gavi officials, the purpose of their two-day visit to Quetta was to understand Balochistan’s achievements as well as challenges it faced regarding coverage and equity of immunisation.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2019