Uncertainty Over Vaccine Procurement Worries Donors
Monday, May 11, 2015
Pakistan may be facing a serious interruption in vaccine supply as provinces are showing unwillingness to pay for vaccine imports, following the expiration of the current National Finance Commission (NFC) award next month.
According to a report of the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI), the risk recommends that the National EPI managers and technical staff ensure effective management of the existing vaccine supplies worth millions of dollars.
Pakistan has been the largest recipient of GAVI’s support, with $842 million worth of vaccine committed up to 2019, but lags far behind in the immunisation targets set by MDGs (millennium development goals). Since 1990, Pakistan has seen a mere 26 per cent reduction in mortality rate of children under five.
GAVI reports that Pakistan’s immunisation programme continues to face serious challenges as shown by an ongoing transmission of measles, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases. With the NFC award on provinces’ share in federal funds ending in June, GAVI sees “vaccine procurement for 2015-16 and beyond unclear”.
National Health Services Secretary Ayub Sheikh, however, told Dawn that “arrangements for vaccine procurement are being made and capacity issues in the EPI will be resolved.”
Because of perceived lack of capacity, both financial and technical, the provinces asked the federal government to continue vaccine procurement on their behalf.
- Health Care