TO MAKE polio eradication drive more effective, the Family Welfare Department would launch an intensive immunization programme all over the state. Family Welfare Minister Ahmed Hasan said this, here on Sunday. He added that a polio booth would be set up in each village.
Hasan was speaking at a seminar, organised by Rotary International. “Along with government employees, the gram pradhans and Asha (voluntary health workers in the villages) would be assigned responsibility to bring children to the booths”, he said.
“The State Government’s achievement on the polio front in the last three years have been laudable,” he said. Elucidating his claim with facts, he went on: “In 2002, 1242 polio cases were reported in the State that decreased to 29 in 2005. A total of 185 cases have been reported this year.”.
Expressing concern over the spurt in polio cases, the minister said that there was sudden increase in polio cases after every four years. However, he asserted, “The State Government is committed towards eradication of polio from Uttar Pradesh. We will wipe out the virus within two years.”
“After reviewing the polio immunization drive, the Family Welfare Department will prepare a new strategy to tackle polio. We will also study the drawbacks of earlier drives and try to overcome those. Besides, the vaccine will be checked before the launch of each immunization drive,” he said.
“Most of the polio cases have been reported in the districts of West UP. To create awareness among the masses, we will take assistance of religious leaders, intellectuals and members of social organizations,” Hasan said.
DG (Medical Health and Family Welfare) Dr B Nath said that the Health Department would assess its preparation in the districts that had reported maximum numbers of cases. The government machinery would be made more effective and steps taken to ensure that each child was immunized, she said.
Chairman of the International Pulse Polio Committee Deepak Kapur said that out of the 999 polio cases reported worldwide, 204 cases had been reported in India. Of these, 185 cases were reported in UP alone, he said.
Kapur said that while preparing work plan, focus should be on creating awareness among the masses. He also stressed that quality of the vaccine should be checked before start of each drive.