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Supplies and Logistics

Largest ever vaccine shipment arrives in Pakistan

© Adnan Rizvi

Islamabad, 30 October 2014 - the largest ever shipment of vaccines for immunizing children and women against vaccine preventable diseases intended for routine immunization and campaign activities arrived in Pakistan in October as part of the country’s Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI).

UNICEF’s Procurement Services team procured on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, EPI vaccines valued at USD 60 million through their own budget and with donor support. The vaccine were delivered to Islamabad Airport, where the Federal EPI team effectively handled receipt of this large volume of heat sensitive vaccines, and transported them on refrigerated trucks to the Federal EPI’s cold rooms.

Given Pakistan’s huge vaccine requirement to immunize 35 million children under-5, combined with the sometime limited availability and high global demand of these vaccines, timely vaccine procurement is a challenge that the Government is trying to overcome effectively with the support of UNICEF and its partners.

The Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination and the Federal EPI are making concerted efforts to strengthen various aspects of the Federal EPI programme with the of aim at increasing immunization coverage and child survival rates. In addition to cold chain management and logistics for moving vaccines throughout Pakistan, timely procurement, delivery and stock monitoring systems are being upgraded.

The Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) assessment conducted earlier this year, provides reliable data for identifying gaps and establishing improvement plans to further strengthen the vaccine management systems in the country.
With support from development partners including Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI),USAID/Deliver Project Pakistan, UNICEF and the WHO, Pakistan has embarked on a web-based vaccine logistics management information system (vLMIS), which has successfully been piloted in selected districts of Pakistan, and is planned for a full roll-out in 2015.

UNICEF Procurement Services has over the past three to four years established a strong and close collaboration with the Government and other partners in Pakistan to support the Routine Immunization and Polio Eradication Programme. It has been instrumental in addressed potential stock outs over the years in complex settings and is continuing providing technical support to Federal EPI for strengthening the vaccine supply chain management along with the support on resource mobilization for campaign activities.



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