Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho has sought the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) assistance for procurement and provision of the best-available coronavirus vaccine for the impoverished people in Sindh.
She said that the vaccine should be available to those who could not afford it, who have comorbidities, and who are the front-liners serving in the health sector.
Speaking on the inauguration of the refurbished Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI) centres with the help of WHO on Thursday, Pechuho said: “We should start preparing a plan for the procurement, storage, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine so that when we have it in our hands, we are able to use it effectively.”
We need WHO’s assistance in its procurement, storage, cold-chain management, and distribution so that we could vaccinate our elderly people and those who have comorbidities but they can’t afford it, she stressed.So far, the global health agency has provided six mobile vaccination vans to the EPI Sindh for each district of Karachi which would be used for routine vaccination, provision of health services, and nutrition support services.WHO has also donated several other vehicles for monitoring activities refurbished nine vaccination centres in the city and provided a 500-kilovolt generator for uninterrupted power supply to the EPI for maintaining a cold chain for the storage of important vaccines in the EPI programme.WHO’s country representative to Pakistan Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala maintained that every time he came to Sindh, he saw improvement in its health sector. “We have refurbished nine vaccination centres in Sindh and are going to refurbish 345 more such centres at the cost of USD1.4 million which is equal to over Rs200 million Pakistani rupees.”
“Today we have donated vans for vaccination in six districts of Karachi and several other vehicles. We would provide mobile vans for all the districts of Sindh while we are donating tons of other material in the health sector,” he added.
Underscoring on the importance of vaccination, Dr Mahipala stated that smallpox had been eradicated from the world with the help of vaccination and now efforts were underway to eradicate several other diseases in the same manner.