Pakistan has identified the need to increase immunization coverage in provinces seen as high risk with low coverage. Balochistan is the largest province, shares borders with Afghanistan, home to a population of 12.34 million, including refugees, and has low immunization coverage. The province has been identified as “high-risk.”
The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is using RI microplanning to identify specific barriers that hinder access to and utilization of immunization services and implement solutions to overcome these barriers. The EPI is working with support from GHD|EMPHNET, and in collaboration with KUDDI for R&D and in coordination with UNICEF, the WHO, to strengthen RI microplanning while enhancing the role of Lady Health Workers in the immunization program.
The EPI is building the capacities of immunization workers in microplanning prior to its implementation. A TOT was conducted between January 19-21, 2022, in Islamabad where a core team of facilitators was built to train frontline workers in low-performing facitilies at the districts. There, over 300 vaccinators and LHWs will be trained to plan comprehensively for immunization services in their catchment areas.
Last year, GHD|EMPHNET targeted low performing facilities in another priority province, Khayber Pakhton Khwa (KP). The project trained 30 facilitators who in turn trained over 600 vaccination workers across 17 districts in developing micro-plans through an in-depth understanding of immunization barriers and helping vaccinators to operationalize these micro-plans. In line with recommendations of a situation analysis of this intervention, it will be scaled up to target over 900 vaccinators in other areas.