Eradicating polio in UP difficult: Unicef | india | Hindustan Times
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Eradicating polio in UP difficult: Unicef

It is very difficult to work to eradicate polio in Uttar Pradesh where over one third of the posts of medical officers are vacant in the government-run health centres, according to the Unicef.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2006 01:42 IST
PTI

‘Govt not appointing medical officers’

It is very difficult to work to eradicate polio in Uttar Pradesh where over one third of the posts of medical officers are vacant in the government-run health centres, according to the Unicef.

A staggering 40 per cent posts of medical officers at various primary and community health centres in the state are vacant, Unicef country coordinator Michael Galway told PTI.

After Egypt, UP and Bihar are the most difficult states to work in the world, he said. The situation is worse in districts of Budaon, Bareilly, Shajahanpur, Aligarh, Ferozabad and Baghpat where the vacancy of medical officer was more than 40 per cent, he said.

The shortage of medical officers in Muzaffarnagar, Bijnore, JP Nagar, Rampur, Moradabad, Bulandshahahr, Pilibhit, Etah, Agra and Mathura was in the range of 30 to 40 per cent, said a Unicef survey. Galway said given the "pathetic" condition of the health centres in rural areas, it was very difficult to work in the state, especially in the western region of the state.

He said rural areas also lacked other basic facilities such as power and water making it very difficult for us to convince the people to be administered with polio drops.Eradication of polio is quite low on the list of priorities of the people in these areas, he said.

Galway attributed the steep rise in the polio cases in the state especially in the western region to the absence of basic health facilities.

Expressing serious concern over the rise in polio cases despite several rounds of pulse polio campaign, he said a Unicef survey had revealed that a whopping majority of cases were detected among Muslims.

Of the number of polio cases reported, 30 per cent were Hindus and a staggering 70 per cent cases were in Muslim families, Galway said.

The Unicef had the required infrastructure and know-how to eradicate polio and it was ready to provide all possible help to the state government, he said. Out of the 352 cases reported in India, UP had reported 312 cases polio cases, mostly from western parts of the state, followed by Bihar, where 20 such cases were detected. Unicef officials said that out of 312, five had been found to be suffering from Type-III polio virus, which required a different vaccine to combat.

The remaining cases were affected by the Type-I polio virus, which could be dealt with the current polio vaccination campaign, they said.

Unicef has also launched a special campaign from this month to administer the monovalent polio vaccine to the Type-III cases.The Unicef had already rubbished claims of the state government that polio vaccines were not effective saying that there was no such possibility as vaccines were tested before it was released to be administered to children.