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April 27, 2019

NIH finalises policy on export of vaccines

Islamabad

April 27, 2019

Islamabad: The National Institute of Health (NIH), which cannot export vaccines without conforming to Good Manufacturing Practices, will soon launch a policy that will pave the way for export of vaccines. The Institute has started production of a number of vaccines including measles, tetanus and diphtheria; even the production of measles vaccine, which remained stalled for seven years, has been revived.

The Executive Director of NIH Dr. Aamer Ikram shared these facts with Minister of State for National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza, who visited NIH Friday for a briefing on major initiatives undertaken to transform NIH. Secretary Health Zahid Saeed and Director General Health Dr. Assad Hafeez were also present.

Dr. Aamer informed that an amount of Rs751 million has been approved for production of sera to meet the critical demand for vaccines and sera. He also mentioned that for the first time, the Public Health Act has been drafted and various technical and policy documents such as National Laboratory Policy, National Bio-Safety Policy, AMR National Action Plan, Case Definition Book, Handbook for Good Laboratory Practices in Pakistan, etc., have been launched.

Dr. Zafar, who visited various divisions of NIH, said the institute has enormous potential. Referring to the Joint External Evaluation carried out in 2016 to assess core capacities in public health, he said he would like to work with NIH in ensuring that there is focus on implementation of recommendations of the said evaluation including strengthening of real-time disease surveillance and response mechanisms and working on anti-microbial resistance.

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