Partnership targets measles immunizations for children in Pakistan
Punjab province is in one of the most rural areas of Pakistan. The population currently stands at just over 3 million people. Recently, district health authorities and UNICEF staff conducted a measles vaccination campaign that immunized more than 1 million children in the region. This amounts to approximately all the children under 5 years old in the area.
Lady health supervisors (LHS), lady health visitors (LHV) and lady health workers (LHW) are instrumental to the success of these campaigns. These workers conduct educational sessions about the role of vaccinations and sometimes go house-to-house to vaccinate the children.
“Our efforts to vaccinate children continue whether it is a campaign or routine immunization,” Damuanna village LHW Rehana Kauser said. “I belong to this village and know most of the women in the community. I know which household has how many children. On the day the vaccinator comes to the village, I ensure every child who is less than 5 years of age is present to receive the measles vaccine.”
Accurate health records about vaccinations are vital.
“A thorough and vigilant system of monitoring is essential for compiling accurate data on vaccination coverage,” UNICEF Pakistan Representative Angela Kearney said. “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that every child is vaccinated, properly and timely, with high quality vaccines.
“There is no room for complacency. Vaccination must go on,” Kearney said. “And I assure you that GAVI ( Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) and UNICEF will continue to support your good work. What could be more rewarding then to see a healthy child and a smiling mother?”