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‘Routine immunisation key to protect children from diseases’

By Our Correspondent
September 22, 2023

LAHORE:The first responsibility of parents and the first right of children is to complete the course of routine immunisation on priority basis for the protection of their health so that the child is completely protected from diseases before going to school. This was stated by public health and medical experts while addressing a seminar on the importance of immunisation for a healthy future of children in collaboration with UNICEF at the Institute of Public Health (IPH) on Thursday.

They said that routine immunisation has played a key role in the prevention of diseases and complete eradication of polio is possible only when every child is fully vaccinated against this lethal disease. The invention of vaccine has played a very important role in reducing the deaths of children and preventing diseases.

IPH Dean Prof Dr Zarfashan Tahir said that the parents consider child vaccination to be of special importance and the child's first right and complete the vaccination course before admission to school all over the world but unfortunately we are still facing these problems and not fully convinced to protect our children through vaccination.

She further said that people should not pay heed to any negative propaganda regarding the vaccine and should give their children polio vaccine in every campaign so that our children can get rid of lifelong disability and we are as a civilised nation should be recognised in the world.

Dr Zarfashan said that the services of polio workers risking their lives to go doo- to-door to administer polio drops cannot be forgotten. Punjab Health Services DG Dr Ilyas Gondal said that the government is providing routine immunisation facilities free of charge with the support of its international partners, while billions of rupees are spent annually in this regard at the government level.

He further said that the immunisation course provides protection against 12 diseases to young children, now it is the responsibility of parents to ensure a healthy future for their children by taking advantage of this facility. Addressing the seminar, Punjab EPI Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmad said that under the revised strategy, static vaccination centres are being increased in urbanised areas and around four hundred vaccination centres are being established in major cities and awareness campaign with reference to routine immunisation is also going on in full force.

He said that now in all the teaching hospitals of the province, vaccination is done till eight o'clock at night. He said that during the corona epidemic, 160 million corona injections were administered to 80 million people in Punjab, which is a record.

UNICEF representative Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Shad and Dr Imran of World Health Organisation associated with EPI Punjab also expressed their expert views in the seminar. They informed about the details of the developments carried out in Punjab by international partners and the entire Punjab EPI programme. They reiterated their commitment to continue the support and highlighted the importance of immunisation in the health of newborns.