Islamabad: Meeting of National Inter Agency Coordination Committee (NIACC) for Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) is held here today. The meeting was chaired by Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani. The agenda of the meeting was to review the progress made by the EPI and explore ways and means to further strengthen the Programme to meet the challenges.
The Minister expressed his gratitude to the international partners who have always offered their moral as well as financial support in promoting the Programme and in achieving its core objectives for the betterment of the children of Pakistan.
He hailed the role of the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunization (GAVI) in eradicating various diseases that threaten the future of the children of the country. Mr. Bijarani said, “Without GAVI’s support, it would have been impossible for Pakistan to introduce Combo Vaccine in 2002. GAVI also provided a big financial assistance for procurement of Pentavalent vaccine in Pakistan in 2009. Since then, the EPI has been making effective efforts to protect our children against five diseases- Diphtheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, Hepatitis-B and Hib”.
While listing EPI’s achievements, the Minister admitted that the Programme had not been able to fully benefit from the assistance provided by GAVI, especially in the field of Immunization Services. Moreover, the Minister expressed his apprehension that millions of dollars allocated by GAVI for ameliorating immunization have remained unutilized.
The representatives of the international partner agencies such as World Bank, WHO, UNICEF, USAID, GAVI, JICA, Rotary International, CIDA, DFID also attended the meeting. While responding to the queries and apprehensions of the representatives of the international donor agencies about the proper disbursement of the funds allocated to the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), the Federal Minister Bijarani assured them that transparency shall be ensured and that the funds will be disbursed appropriately.
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