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December 15, 2020

MoU inked to improve health services in KP

Peshawar

December 15, 2020

PESHAWAR: Various stakeholders have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the launching of an integrated maternal, newborn, child health, and immunization pilot project.

The memorandum has been signed by Peshawar Medical College (PMC), Department of Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Trust for Vaccines & Immunizations (TVI), Prime Foundation (PF), Aga Khan University, Karachi and the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, Canada.

The objectives of the project are to improve the MNCH practices and services, particularly in the COVID-19 context including routine childhood immunization, improved breastfeeding practices, handwashing promotion, best possible sanitary practices, and optimal diarrhoea management, to enhance community engagement and knowledge to improve care-seeking behaviours and health behaviours, to create a replicable model of private health sector engagement that can be adopted by the government for the long-term sustainability of the interventions and to assess the feasibility of adopting an electronic birth and immunisation registry.According to the MoU, the 18-month pilot project will focus on improving the health of women and children.

It will concentrate on rebuilding health and immunisation systems that have been disrupted or halted due to COVID-19.

The project will be delivered in two high-risk union councils (UCS) of KP where health practices, immunization coverage and health infrastructure are sub-optimal. It will engage private-sector health care providers including medical practitioners and physicians in the targeted UCs to optimize the quality of maternal and child health services, nutrition interventions, and coverage of routine immunisation.

The project team will liaise with EPI to arrange vaccines for private practitioners to ensure free-of-cost vaccination services at their clinics.

The project aims to create a replicable model of private sector engagement that can be adopted by the government for long-term sustainability. The project will assess the feasibility of adopting an electronic birth and immunisation registry with the help of an immunization App, Sehat Nishani.

In the past, the PMC along with AKU pioneered the introduction of injectable polio vaccine for the first time in the country that paved the way for its full-scale inclusion in the EPI programme.

BMJ South Asia Award was awarded to the project for its high impact in the country and for the region, especially the innovation it offered to engage families and communities in an integrated manner in a conflict-affected setting.