The National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) is the annual document that outlines the eradication strategy of the programme and its strategic priorities, main areas of work, as well as innovations, modifications and improvements that may help the programme address persistent challenges.
The programme is currently implementing the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) for Polio Eradication 2020 . As per the NEAP 2020, the programme is committed to stopping all wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) transmission in Pakistan.
To achieve this goal, the programme is focused on ensuring the following objectives:
- Stopping poliovirus transmission in all remaining WPV1 reservoirs through focused, intensified national efforts and coordinated strategies across international borders.
- Rapidly detecting, containing and eliminating all polioviruses from any newly infected area.
- Protecting the overall health of populations by maintaining and increasing immunity to poliovirus infection through implementing quality supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) and strengthening essential immunization (EI).
The NEAP 2020 also includes some bold strategies to ensure poliovirus transmission is interrupted. Some of these strategies include the following:
- Modifications to the schedule, structure and spacing of polio eradication campaigns to ensure sufficient time for campaign preparation activities, including social mobilisation, community engagement and capacity building efforts. As per the NEAP schedule, there will be three (3) NIDs and three (3) Subnational Immunization Days (SNIDs) in 2020.
- The introduction of transformations in the programme’s structure, data, processes and human resources. These transformations are the result of comprehensive management and communication reviews that were undertaken in 2019. These transformations call for a revision of roles and responsibilities, organisational structures, operational processes, data collection and use at all levels of the polio eradication effort.
- The development and roll out of Communication for Eradication (C4E) activities which have been designed to improve trust in the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme and in vaccines. Strategies have been devised to engage stakeholders and influencers, dispel misconceptions around vaccine safety and efficacy, and address the root causes for parents and caregivers refusing the vaccine.
- The creation of a new Area of Work which concentrates on building synergy with the Expanded Programme on Immunization. Through this Area of Work, Pakistan hopes to improve Essential Immunization coverage of children while addressing broader health needs through the provision of expanded packages comprised of health, nutrition, and WASH services. These interventions will increase access to and utilisation of health services in communities affected by many types of deprivations.
- Continued alignment of Pakistan’s vaccination schedule with Afghanistan’s vaccination schedule, as coordination between these two countries is critical to interrupting poliovirus within and across the shared epidemiological block.