World Immunization Week, April 24 to 30th, serves a great opportunity to create awareness among people to learn more about how to protect against vaccine preventable disease. The aim of celebrating this is to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. Immunizing children can avert up to 17pc of childhood mortality in Pakistan thus help contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 on reducing child morbidity and mortality. Diseases with higher transmissibility like measles and polio pose a much higher risk to hit back strongly. Moreover, associated morbidity and mortality further intensify the burden on health system. This year WHO theme for world immunization week is ‘Vaccines bring us closer’
As 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. 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.
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, 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.