Geneva, 23 April 2015 - In light of recent reports in Pakistan regarding the non-payment of vaccine workers and subsequent industrial action, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, would like to clarify the following points:
The health workers, known locally as ‘Gavi vaccinators’, are employees of the Pakistan government.
Gavi contributed to the salaries of some vaccinators in Pakistan between 2007 and 2010 through an Immunisation Services Support grant to the federal government. This support ended, as agreed, in 2010.
As per the grant agreement, the Pakistan authorities, either at federal or provincial level, are now responsible for the salaries of vaccinators, which should come from domestic resources. In previous years this has happened but on an irregular basis.
Gavi has repeatedly raised the issue of vaccinators’ salaries with state and federal leaders in Pakistan. Salaries should be paid in full and on time.
The regularisation of vaccinators’ salaries and their systematic inclusion in government annual budgets is part of an on-going discussion with the Government of Pakistan and has implications for any future Gavi support to the country.
Gavi’s work in Pakistan
Gavi currently supports pentavalent vaccine which offers protection against five diseases (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), hepatitis B, and Haemophilius influenzae type b) as well as pneumococcal vaccine as part of Pakistan’s routine schedule. Gavi also funds measles vaccination campaigns in the country.
Gavi has invested more than US$ 23 million in health system strengthening and US$ 43 million in immunisation service support since 2000. In total, Gavi has disbursed more than US$ 720 million for immunisation in Pakistan, making it the largest recipient of Gavi support.