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Politics cripples polio drive

india Updated: Sep 09, 2006 01:45 IST
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Hasan blames Centre for rise in cases

STATE FAMILY Welfare Minister Ahmed Hasan raised doubt about the quality of polio vaccine. He blamed the Centre for rise in polio cases in the State.

Talking to media persons here on Friday, he said the polio virus had already crippled 254 children in 28 districts this year. Besides, reports of fresh cases were being received from one district or another, he added. Hasan said the the number cases was increasing because of certain modifications made in the polio immunisation drive as per the Centre’s directives.

Hasan said, “Earlier, the polio vaccine was tested at a laboratory in NOIDA.

Following the Centre’s directives, the vaccines are being tested at Kasauli located in Himachal Pradesh.

We have no idea about the quality of the vaccine that was being administered to the children,” he said. He added, “The polio virus is crippling even those children who have already been administered polio drops.”

The State Government would organise an immunisation drive in all the districts, he said. However, following Centre’s directives, the drive was confined to a few districts in West Uttar Pradesh, he added. Recently, CM Mulayam Singh Yadav received an award from President APJ Abdul Kalam for his achievements in health and education. The Centre, it seemed, was not happy with the performance of the State government, he said. He also blamed WHO and UNICEF for organising the immunisation drive in western UP.

He further said that the Samajwadi Party government was not responsible for the rise in number of the polio cases. About 1242 polio cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh in 2002. The SP came to power in 2003 and due to the efforts of the government, the polio cases came down to 88 in 2003, 82 in 2004 and 29 in 2005, he said.

He said that although the number of cases was rising, there was no panic in the government and Muslims were not averse to police vaccine. Hasan said that the State Government has removed DG Family Welfare and initiated action against several doctors and staff deputed in the immunization drive on the charge of dereliction of duty.   

Later, the UNICEF representatives told media persons that they conducted a laboratory test of the polio vaccine and submitted a report to the State Government. There was no defect in the vaccine that was giving good results in other sates, they said.

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