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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Polio vaccination must for visiting Pak, 6 other nations

Jatinder Kohli , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, March 21, 2014
First Published: 10:36 IST(21/3/2014) | Last Updated: 10:37 IST(21/3/2014)

If you wish to visit Pakistan, Afghanistan and five other countries, polio vaccination will be a must or one might not be allowed board flight to his destination, says a new advisory issued by the Centre to all district headquarters.

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The other five countries in the list are Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Syria.

The state health department has sent a letter (a copy of which is with Hindustan Times) to all civil surgeons informing them about the appointment of district immunisation officers as nodal officer for polio vaccination for international travellers.

District immunisation officers will deputed for administering polio drops to travellers and they will also issue certification as prescribed by the Centre. The advisory will also cover the residents of these seven countries if they want to come to India.

The travellers will have to get certificate from the health authorities in their own country and they will be administered polio drops at the border or at entry points.

Avtar Chand, a resident of Kala Bahian village became first person who was administered polio drops on Tuesday by district immunization officer Dr Harpreet Kaur Mann and was issued a certificate.

Avtar was to go to Nigeria for work purpose and he had to show immunisation certificate issued to him four weeks before his travel. The advisory has been issued by government to keep the country polio-free.

According to available information, experts had found that Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan were fighting with polio and hence travellers to these countries will be immunised by the health department.

The polio virus was taken to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Syria which were earlier poliofree countries. The letter further reads that the ministry of external affairs has already issued directions to heads of Indian mission to ensure vaccination of travellers from these countries.

It further directed the administration to establish polio-vaccination centres at government hospitals in the district for travellers going to these countries. The DIO will issue a certificate which will be valid for one year from the date of issuance.

DIO Dr Harpreet Kaur Mann said vaccination centre had been set up and the polio drops would be administered on Tuesdays.

“The information has been circulated to all primary health centres, community health centres and other subsidiary health centres in the district,” the district immunisation officer said.

She further said that travellers have to give a Photostat copy of their passport, an entry of which will be made in records.

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