World Immunization Week is celebrated every year in the last week of April (24-30th April 2021) with the aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. Still there are nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need, and many miss out on vital vaccines during adolescence, adulthood and into old age.
WHO theme for 2021 is ‘Vaccines bring us closer’,
World Immunization Week 2021 will urge greater engagement around immunization globally to promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together, and improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life.
While the world focuses on critically important new vaccines to protect against COVID-19, there remains a need to ensure routine vaccinations are not missed. Many children have not been vaccinated during the global pandemic, leaving them at risk of serious diseases like measles and polio. Rapidly circulating misinformation around the topic of vaccination adds to this threat. In Pakistan through Expanded Program on Immunization six million children aged 0 to 15 months are vaccinated against 11 vaccines preventable diseases.
Despite significant efforts by the Government and its partners, Pakistan’s immunization indicators have yet to reach the expected benchmarks. The key goals of polio eradication, and measles, have not been achieved. However, Punjab is the first province to achieve elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus in 2016
Pakistan is third among countries with the most unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children. Of the 3.8 million infants who did not receive their third dose of DTP3 vaccine in the EMRO region in 2015, 40% of those were in Pakistan. This is very alarming situation for us.
In this regard, the NUMS Department of Public Health under HoD Prof Dr Uzma Hassan, conducted practical learning activity on Wednesday April 28th, with its BSPH Batch 1 and Batch 2 students. The activity was facilitated by Asst Prof Dr Sehar Bismillah and attended by Associate Prof Dr Tamkeen Jaffery and Senior Lecturer Dr Rehma Gilani. The goal was to create engaging public awareness and education material around immunization so as to promote importance of vaccination in improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere. Students presented video and poster projects, highlighting vaccine mechanism, myths around vaccine, benefits of vaccination, risk of non-immunization and schedule of EPI program. The take home message was that we should all unite to increase trust and confidence in vaccines to maintain or increase vaccine acceptance and also increase investment in vaccines, including routine immunization, to remove barriers to access by increasing and promoting health education.
World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7th by activities, which serves as an opportunity to focus on important aspects of health. These activities are not restricted to a single day but continue as year-long campaigns. It aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization (WHO). The year 2021 theme is “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone”. The intention is to take measures towards elimination of health inequities and to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world. In this context, Department of Public Health, HOD Prof.Dr.Uzma Hassan arranged practical learning activities based on World Health Day theme. The facilitator for the session was Senior Lecturer Dr. Rehma Gilani. The students of BSPH Batch 1&2 were divided into 07 groups with 04 students in each group (three senior and one junior). The purpose was to create awareness among students regarding health inequities existing in health systems globally and in Pakistan. The learning outcome was that students will be able to analyze the impact of health inequity through comparison of national and international indicators of health, health equity, health system performance and determinants of health.
To Download World Health Day Projects by Students of Department of Public Health : Click Here