Caretaker Prime Minister, Justice (Retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso has directed for an urgent inter-Provincial Meeting to combat steady increase in the number of measles cases in the country. Expressing his deep concern over the rising incidence of Measles in the country, during a Meeting at Sindh Governor House, he directed the Caretaker Federal Health Minister, Dr Sania Nishter to address the issue on war-footing.
The Caretaker PM reiterated that the inter-provincial meeting about measles must be held immediately and that the recommendations formulated on the occasion must be forwarded to him without any unnecessary delay. She informed poor routine immunisation coverage rate in the country is the major cause of measles outbreak in different parts of the country.
Routine vaccination coverage of children against vaccine preventable disease in Sindh was 40%,in Punjab 58%,in Balochistan 11% and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 38% against the internationally recommended minimum coverage of 98%.
This, she regretted was despite the fact that vaccines against seven to nine diseases are administered free of cost to the children in the government sector healthcare facilities, however, poor understanding and motivation was a major barrier.
On the occasion Sindh government representatives requested the caretaker federal government to release funds for procurement of second dose of measles vaccines, that is scheduled to be administered to children in June this year.
Caretaker PM directed the Dr. Sania Nishter to present him short and long term plans related to disease prevention schemes and strengthening of vertical plans.
He was also asked to forward submissions related to effective and efficient strategy for fool proof and smooth transfer of funds to the provinces.
The Meeting was also attended by Sindh Governor, Dr.Ishrat- ul-Ebad Khan, Caretaker Chief Minister of Sindh, Justice (Retd) Zahid Kurban Alavi, Sindh Caretaker Minister for Health, Dr. Juniad Shah, Advisor to Governor Sindh, Dr.Naushad Ali Shaikh, Sindh Health Secretary, Dr. Suresh Kumar and other senior officials of Sindh Government besides representatives of UNICEF, Rotary International and WHO.