Expanded program on immunization (EPI) is one of the world health organization programs, which has a goal to make vaccines available to all the children through-out the world. EPI has been delivered the immunization services to the targeted children of below one year old and pregnant women. The main objective of EPI in Bangladesh is to reduce and eliminate infant and maternal mortality rate against most common vaccines preventable disease.
Definition of Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI):
Expanded program on immunization (EPI) is one kinds of evidence based tool for controlling and even eradicating infectious diseases. It protects against childhood communicable disease, which can result in death and severe debilitation.
Goal of EPI (Expanded Program on Immunization):
The goal of EPI is to universal access of all relevant vaccines for all targeted groups including older children, adolescents and adult pregnant women peoples in order to control disease and achieve better health for all. The major objectives include:
- To reduce the mortality and morbidity among the children against the most common vaccine preventable disease, i.e. measles, tuberculosis, Pertussis, poliomyelitis and diphtheria.
- To reduce maternal mortality.
- To immunize all infants/ children against the most common vaccine preventable disease.
- To eliminate measles infection.
- To eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
- To prevent extra pulmonary tuberculosis among children.
- To coverage at least 80% in all townships and 95% nationally.
- To eradicate poliomyelitis and reduce disability from poliomyelitis.
- To improve economic well-being of the society.
- To help health both mother and child.
- Control of rubella syndrome.
- To get vaccination coverage targets in every district and community.
- To introduce new vaccines and technologies.
Target Group for Immunization:
Various target groups for EPI have pointed out in the following:
- All children under 1 year of age for DPT, BCG, OPV and Measles vaccination.
- Other children who have not fully immunized.
- Every pregnant for T.T vaccination.
- All other women who are of child bearing age (15- 49 years) and have not been immunized previously against tetanus.