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Why Have Immunization Efforts in Pakistan Failed to Achieve Global Standards of Vaccination Uptake and Infectious Disease Control?

Authors Butt M, Mohammed R, Butt E, Butt S, Xiang J

Received 5 April 2019

Accepted for publication 17 January 2020

Published 12 February 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 111—124


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau

Mahreen Butt,1 Raihan Mohammed,2 Eman Butt,2 Sundas Butt,3 Jinpo Xiang4

1Institute for Global Health, University College London, London, UK; 2Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; 3Faculty of Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK; 4Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK

Correspondence: Raihan Mohammed
Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0SP, UK

Abstract: Immunization is one of the most successful public health initiatives in recent times. It is, therefore, worrying to learn the level of under-vaccination in Pakistan. Diseases that have been successfully eliminated through the aid of vaccination in other countries have not been eliminated in Pakistan. The reasons for this vary and show the uniqueness of the economic, healthcare and environmental landscape of Pakistan, through which public health programmes need to be implemented. The “Expanded Programme of Immunization” (EPI) is the main programme through which routine immunization is provided to the public. Within Pakistan, it has encountered many problems since its inception. This includes logistical obstacles, inefficient health worker attitudes, parental and female awareness, and education, the influence of religious community leaders and the complications that accompany conflict. When compared to globally standardised targets for immunization, Pakistan is trailing behind. Not achieving these targets is worrying from both a global perspective and within the national healthcare landscape of Pakistan. Research is necessary to bring together findings on the failings of routine immunization and polio campaigns; there are many intersecting factors that global health bodies and the Department of Health in Pakistan must address in order to relieve the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs).

Keywords: Pakistan, vaccination, immunization, coverage, Polio, EPI, WHO

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