Vaccine Preventable Diseases in Pakistan

CDC Cooperative Agreement on Vaccine Preventable Diseases in Pakistan

Capacity Building for Global, Regional, and National Immunization Programs

IGH is collaborating with the Global Immunization Division (GID) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pakistan’s National Stop Transmission of Polio (NSTOP), and other global partners to address Vaccine Preventable Disease (VPD) challenges. These efforts (1) strengthen global capacity to control, eliminate, and ultimately eradicate VPDs in high-risk and under-immunized populations; and (2) provide logistical support to NSTOP leadership and administrative teams to strategically reach polio eradication and immunization targets.

Of the 285,000 frontline workers in-country, 62% are female.
– Pakistan Polio Eradication Program 

National Stop Transmission of Polio Program

August 2021


IGH was awarded the cooperative agreement and IGH’s Director and Senior Public Health Analyst traveled to Islamabad and met with NSTOP team for project kick-off meeting and discussions.

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September 2021


IGH supported the expansion and recruitment of additional field officers in high priority districts throughout Pakistan, including North and South Waziristan, Killa Abdullah and Chaman. The NSTOP officers were able to identify 298 missed children and vaccinate them on the spot.

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October 2021


IGH staff and NSTOP leadership facilitated a 7-day pre-deployment training for 20 newly inducted NSTOP field officers.

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December 2021


National coordinator monitors and supervises the administration of Health Camps in Karachi. Health Camps serve as outreach for high-risk areas of Pakistan and provide life-saving vaccines and other health services.

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February 2022

In-Country Visit

Bill Gates visited Pakistan’s National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) to meet with leaders of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). This gathering of leaders included the National Coordinator for the National Stop Transmission of Polio (NSTOP) (pictured below with Bill Gates) and Deputy national coordinator.

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April 2022

Outbreak Response

IGH and NSTOP workers reacted to the first wild poliovirus case reported in 15 months from North Waziristan and positive environmental samples reported from same district of Bannu. Since that case, field staff have been deployed to continue Polio education initiatives.

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March 2022

Strategic Planning

IGH facilitated a strategic planning meeting in Istanbul, Turkey for participants representing the CDC, Pakistan’s Ministry of Health, Polio Eradication initiative, Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) and National Stop Transmission of Polio (NSTOP) program. This meeting enabled information sharing and discussions to establish a synchronized approach to Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization Programs and strategies to maintain current momentum.

IGH visited Islamabad to begin planning for year two. Discussions on professional development opportunities for NSTOP and plans to ensure safety of stop officers moving forward were held. Polio Oversight Board visited Pakistan again and conducted site visits.

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June 2022

Visit to Afghan Refugee Camp During Supplemental National Immunization Days

CDC Polio Eradication Branch Pakistan Team Lead, Richard Franka visited an Afghan refugee camp in Islamabad during a supplemental immunization campaign in June. CDC IGH Senior Advisor Dr. Rana Safdar and NSTOP National Coordinator Dr. Kamaluddin Soomro escorted Richard during his visit to the camp.

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October 2022

Attendance at Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting

CDC IGH Senior Advisor Dr. Rana Safdar attended the TAG meeting in Oman from 3rd to 6th of October 2022 where policy guidelines were given to the program to complete the task of eradication within timeline. The Federal NSTOP team under the command of National NSTOP Coordinator attended the meeting virtually from Islamabad.

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December 2022

Epi NSTOP Induction training

Nine new EPI-NSTOP officers were identified and assigned to priority districts: four for KPK and five for Balochistan. A five-day training was held in Islamabad from 12th -16th December 2022. The training was jointly facilitated by the Federal NSTOP Team, Federal Directorate of Immunization (FDI), TSO KPK, and subject matter expert nominated facilitators from WHO EPI Team.

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January 2023

Site Visit

IGH’s Senior Public Health Analyst, Meara Bowe visited Islamabad to meet with NSTOP and NEOC leadership. Discussions began for further planning for new trainings and initiatives, including a large-scale training for all NSTOP officers to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan in the next quarter.

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April-May 2023

April-May 2023 –

IGH worked with in-country security expert trainers to organize four HEAT trainings for NSTOP officers. The training was split up by provinces, with one additional training for Sindh officers further from Karachi. The HEAT training prepared NSTOP officers to better prepare for deployment in high risk and security compromised areas by identifying potential risk factors and utilizing best practices to maintain safety.

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June 2023

International Retreat and Training

IGH facilitated and organized an international retreat and training for NSTOP officers in Baku, Azerbaijan. This involved over 110 participants from the Government of Pakistan, Global Polio Eradication Initiative, NSTOP and CDC. The one-week training covered topics such as strategic planning, data usage for risk assessments and decision-making, interpersonal communication skills and time management and goal setting.

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August 2023

Advanced Data Modeling Course

In collaboration with CDC, IGH organized a 5-day training on Advanced Disease Modeling techniques in Doha, Qatar. IGH’s Advanced Analytics Team Lead, selected PEOC data analysts and epidemiologists and representatives from UNICEF, WHO and the Ministry of Qatar underwent training focused on data modeling concepts, techniques, and best practices. The training provided participants with the necessary skills to develop robust infectious disease data models, efficiently implement models and drive meaningful insights from their data to support decision making.

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September 2023

EPI NSTOP Officer Induction Training

From the 11th to 16th of September, a six-day Induction Training for NSTOP EPI officers was organized by the National NSTOP Program and IGH in Islamabad. 10 NSTOP officers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were trained by expert facilitators from the Federal Directorate of Immunization, CDC, and WHO EPI.

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October 2023

Cross-Border Coordination Meeting; South KP Focus Group Session

Members of the NSTOP Federal Team, GPEI Partner Organizations, and representatives from Pakistan and Afghanistan met for a Cross-border Coordination Meeting. Additionally, IG, CDC and NSTOP leadership facilitated a South KP Focus Group Session for NSTOP officers and IG/CDC consultants to discuss challenges and priorities in the key endemic zone districts.

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December 2023

National Program Management Team Meeting

The National Program Management Team Meeting was called by the National Emergency Operations Center from the 19th-20th December. Both NSTOP federal and provincial leadership attended the meeting to deliberate on the next national six-month action plan per the updated risk categorization. A major outcome is the prioritization of union councils that require additional interventions of integrated service delivery in order to reach every child. Additionally, the high-risk district focus list for the next six months was drafted.

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