The Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) in Pakistan protects the population against nine diseases preventable by vaccines like infant tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, whooping cough, neonatal tetanus, hepatitis B, pneumonia, hemophilus influenza B (causes meningitis, pneumonia) and measles. The immunization program targets all children between the ages of 0-23 months. Unfortunately, vaccine-preventable diseases still account for majority of the infant and child mortality in Pakistan.
Evidence suggests that underachievement in immunization is due to a combination of factors which include substandard service delivery, program mismanagement, inadequate monitoring and evaluation, ineffective logistics control, gaps in human resource and underfunding. In this scenario, the best option for the government is to strengthen the health system by improving the routine immunization.
Although EPI is beyond the purview of PPHI, yet we have always complemented and supplemented the immunization program in all possible manners and shown tangible results. The EPI has established 1036 static centers in Baluchistan, out of which 517 are located in the BHUs. To put immunization services on the track, PPHI has recruited on contract basis 257 vaccinators who run the static centers to achieve the national immunization targets. It is noteworthy that Balochistan’s 28 % of the total immunization target is achieved by the static centers at BHUs.