84pc children not immunised in Balochistan
QUETTA: In Balochistan, 84 per cent children are not immunised and are prone to various preventable and fatal diseases, data from the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) revealed.
Out of 100, only 16pc children are fully immunised, which appears to be an alarming situation in the province, Dr Syed Saifur Rehman, the Coordinator of Emergency Operation Center (EOC) said.
Balochistan, the country's resource-rich but least developed province is lagging behind other provinces in terms of key social indicators, data from the provincial health department shows.
The Balochistan Government has decided to simultaneously launch routine immunisation along with polio eradication program to ensure immunisation of children in the province.
Officials of the EOC and Extended Program for Immunisation (EPI) held a meeting to discuss ways and means to launch an effective program to ensure immunisation of all children.
Officials from the Unicef and World Health Organization (WHO) assured the meeting of providing technical and logistical support for smooth immunisation in the province.
However, an official of the Balochistan Health Department who requested anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to media told that most of the EPI centres across the province were non-functional.
"Only 10 out of 27 EPI centers in district Killa Abdullah are functional", he said, adding that the situation was not much different in other 31 districts of the province.
Balochistan government has launched EPI to eradicate polio, measles, chicken pox, hepatitis and other five preventable diseases. "Every year, these preventable diseases claim the lives of scores of children", the official said, giving no exact number of child deaths.
The routine immunisation program along with the Polio Eradication Initiative will be launched in high-risk union councils at the initial stage. “It will be a pilot program and later will be extended across the province,”Dr Saifur Rehman said.
Balochistan government has declared 45 union councils as high-risk in Quetta and Killa Abdullah districts. Routine immunisation will be simultaneously launched with polio eradication program in these high risk union councils.
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