ISLAMABAD-Joint Supervision, Evaluation and Monitoring mission stressed federal and provincial authorities running health programmes to ensure sustainable financing through the national and provincial recurrent budgets for procurement of vaccines and delivery of un-interrupted immunisation services across the country, a statement said on Saturday.

The statement issued by Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that a high powered meeting of the National Inter-Agency Coordination Committee was held here chaired by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza.

Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of NHS Dr. Nausheen Hamid, federal and provincial managers-EPI and representatives of the development partners (WHO and UNICEF representatives) attended the meeting.

The meeting was organised in the backdrop of the visit of the Joint Supervision, Evaluation and Monitoring mission to Pakistan (Gavi, World Bank, BMGF, USAID, UNICEF-ROSA and KfW) which was in the country for the past two weeks holding extensive deliberations with the provincial EPI programmes and their respective planning and finance departments.

The statement said that the mission apprised the minister NHSR&C on their findings of the visit and shared key recommendations towards reaching the unvaccinated children in Pakistan. The mission members also stressed the federal and provincial programmes to ensuring sustainable financing through the national and provincial recurrent budgets for procurement of the vaccines and delivery of un-interrupted immunisation services across the country, it added.

The meeting highlighted the need for achieving universal immunisation coverage across the country as a priority. SAPM on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza stressed that it is a high time to mainstream the universal Immunisation agenda through engaging national and provincial leaders and policy makers.

“To win political support and ownership at national and provincial level, advocacy supported by evidence and data is needed,” opined SAPM during his remarks. On the occasion, the National Programme Manager, EPI presented the targets set by provinces and areas for achieving universal immunisation. He also shared the determination of the programme in achieving the set targets.

Senior Country Manager, Gavi, briefed the minister on behalf of the alliance partners and mission members regarding the progress made so far in immunisation programme. While debriefing the SAPM he underscored the need of expansion of fixed sites, improving micro planning and quality of outreach services and highlighting the need to generate demand for immunisation services.

“Universal Immunisation is the only option. Let us set our clear vision. We need to get out of our comfort zone to ensure no child is left behind,” said Dr. Mirza in his closing remarks.