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Punjab to launch measles campaign in Nov as disease on rise in 12 districts

LAHORE   –  The Steering Committee of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation Tuesday decided to launch anti-measles campaign in November this year as 12 district reported rise in cases. Apex technical forum reviews surveillance data of vaccine preventable diseases and provides technical insight into the strategies to control diseases outbreaks and epidemics. The meeting was attended by committee members that included epidemiologist, pediatricians, experts of public health and technical team officials from the WHO, UNICEF and BMGF. EPI Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that the Phase-II of the TCV campaign was successfully completed in 24 districts from June 12 to 26 and 12.7 million were children were vaccinated with a coverage of over 100 percent.

 The DHS EPI shared that a 10% decline in Typhoid positivity rate was observed after completion of TCV Catch-up Campaign by end of June 2021. 

Director EPI shared before the committee that Punjab had achieved all of its nine Disbursement Linked Indicator as per commitment and the province was certified during Federal EPI Review Meeting for successful DLI Validation. 

World Health Organization representative shared that the WHO had resumed the Enhanced Outreach Activity (EOA) in 23 Priority Districts of Punjab from July 2021 to track defaulter children. The EOA had helped cover upto 80% defaulter children till March 2021. The representative also shared that the WHO-supported EPI MIS will be ready for roll out within 16 weeks. The work on MIS was initiated on directions from Health Minister Punjab Dr. Yasmin Rashid under a One System vision which aims to bring together EPI Profiling, Microplanning, Routine EPI Coverage, Vaccine Management, Cold chain and Logistics Management, Vaccine Preventable Disease Surveillance and interfacing in a coherent system. 

The WHO representative also shared that in the last six months, 50 measles outbreaks had been reported in 12 districts of the province and given the resurgence of the disease, the National Ministry of Health Services, Coordination and Regulations had decided to conduct country wide MR catch-up campaign in November 2021. 

The WHO representative also shared that Measles Response Initiative (MRI) campaign was conducted from 5th to 10th July 2021 in 44 UCs of the province having Rawalpindi (35 UCs) and Lahore (9 UCs). He shared that a total of 269,784 children were vaccinated from a target of 2,84,260 children.


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