District-Health-Forum

Theme: Highlighting Best Practices & Contributions to Immunization

By Khadim Dahot, Managing Director, SDTS - Nov 2013

Making Child Health a Priority

Sewa Development Trust Sindh (SDTS), in collaboration with Pakistan CSO Coalition for Health and Immunization (PCCHI) and Global Alliance for Vaccination & Immunization (GAVI) conducted a District Health Forum in district Khairpur on 8th October, 2013.

The major objectives of this forum were to highlight the best practices of and contribution of CSOs [Civil Society Organisations] in immunization and child health in Khairpur district, Sindh Provice.

There was a brief discussion onthe barriers to immunization and to bridge the demand and supply side gap and importance of DPT3.

DPT3 is series of immunizations that can prevent diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus.

The importance of coordination between health department and CSOs to increase immunization coverage with also highlighted in the forum.

There were 35 people representing 35 different organizations, like NGOs, UN, CSOs, Health Department Government of Sindh, journalist/media representatives, representatives of UNICEF, WHO-World Health Organization and District Polio Eradication Cell.

Issues & Barriers

The participants discussed following issues and barriers for the vaccination in the districts and suggested actions:

  • There is lack of volunteerism in community for vaccination.
  • The CSOs of district Khairpur may take up the issue for getting social development grants and its utilization for health development projects from oil and gas productions available in the area.
  • There is need of birth registration of the children and integrated surveillance program.
  • In the district there are several areas where no team reached for vaccination and polio drops, especially in Dargah Noorpur and Piryaloi, due to religious restrictions.
  • Need of more commitment by health department and all other stakeholders towards children's vaccination.
  • The Deputy Commissioner established district control room for one stop information and service delivery in Polio campaign.
  • In the district Khairpur, there are several barriers that restrict health worker and vaccination teams in tribal conflicted areas, flood-hit areas, religious-sensitive areas, and political influence – for quick transfer and postings of health officers.
  • Need of capacity-building of CSOs and vaccinators.
  • There are approximately 19 Union Councils those are at high risk in the district for vaccination and immunization.
  • Every citizen and community member or CSO requires performing its role as an individual and collective.

Mr. Munawar Ali Mithani, Deputy Commissioner of Khairpur, thanked organizers for conducting such an important forum and he assured his support. He called for close coordination among civil society organizations and health departments for polio eradication and measles outbreak.

At the end, Mr. Khadim Dahot, SDTS' Managing Director, thanked everyone for participating in the forum, discussed vaccination issues and barriers, and suggested actions to work as team.

Guests of Honour & Moderators

  • Mr. Munawar Ali Mithani, Deputy Commissioner Khairpur
  • Dr. Bashir Ahmed Jumani, District Health Officer, Health Department
  • Dr. Zahoor Ahmed, Additional Director EPI- Govt. of Sindh
  • Mr. Yasir Kazmi, Coordinator, PCCHI Islamabad
  • Dr. Alina Akhyar, Team Leader, PCCHI Islamabad
  • Mrs. Khadeja, Consultant, Islamabad

Photos and press clippings