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.
CDC Cooperative Agreement on Vaccine Preventable Diseases in Pakistan
Capacity Building for Global, Regional, and National Immunization Programs
"Of the 285,000 frontline workers in-country, 62% are female."
- Pakistan Polio Eradication Program
NATIONAL STOP TRANSMISSION
OF POLIO PROGRAM
TIMELINE- 2021 ACTIVITIES
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.
IGH staff and NSTOP leadership facilitated a 7-day pre-deployment training for 20 newly inducted NSTOP field officers.
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.
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.
TIMELINE- 2022 ACTIVITIES
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TIMELINE- 2023 ACTIVITIES
IGH’s Public Health Analyst, Meara Bowe visits Islamabad to meet with NSTOP and NEOC leadership. Discussions begin 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.
INTERNATIONAL RETREAT AND TRAINING
IGH facilitated and organized an international retreat and training for NSTOP officers in Baku, Azerbaijan. This involved logistic arrangements for 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.
HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT AND AWARENESS TRAININGS
APRIL- MAY 2023
IGH worked with in-country security expert trainers to organize 4 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 keep safe.