Target to administer polio drops to 1 crore and 11 lakh children: MP CM
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday launched the state’s Pulse Polio Programme in Bhopal by administering polio drops to children less than five years of age. He told news agency ANI, “Our target is to administer the polio drops to 1 crore and 11 lakh children.”
President Ram Nath Kovind had on Saturday kicked off the three-day pulse polio programme for 2021 by administering polio drops to children at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The launch came on the eve of the Polio National Immunization Day, which is observed on January 31 and is popularly known as Polio Ravivar.
“Around 17 crore children of less than 5 years of age will be given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to sustain polio free status of the country. The countrywide drive will be supported by about 24 lakh volunteers, 1.5 lakh supervisors and many Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), WHO, UNICEF, Rotary etc.,” the Union ministry of health and family welfare said in a statement.
Healthcare workers will be visiting as many as two crore households across the nation to ensure that no child is left without the protection of the polio vaccine, the ministry said.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan was also present at the event. Recalling how the vaccination plan came into force, he said. “The strategy of Pulse Polio Immunization Programme was conceived in December 1993 and it was rolled out from 2nd October, 1994 when the first child was immunized against Polio as part of this programme. Almost 12 lakh children were immunized in a single day at around 4000 centres. In 1995 seeing the visible impact of the Pulse Polio Programme in Delhi, this was replicated at the national level. A year later, several countries of South East Asia region of WHO emulated the strategy and implemented similar programs. Even in Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela launched ‘Kick Polio out of Africa’ campaign”
“Before the start of the program, India had 60% caseload of Polio worldwide. With the last case of Polio reported in Howrah on 13th January, 2011, the country has been free of Polio for a decade now,” Vardhan added.
The Union minister stressed on the need to ensure that all vaccines under the programme reach every last child of our country. “In order to close gaps that might have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic, another phase of Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI 3.0) has been planned in 250 high risk districts of the country during February and March 2021. In addition to this, guidance for conduction of Sub-National Immunization days for polio and sensitive surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases during pandemic has also been issued to States,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will also start the polio immunisation campaign 2021 on Sunday from Lucknow's Dufferin hospital, according to an official statement. "Children up to 5 years of age will be administered the polio drops. Around 3.40 crore children will be administered polio drops across Uttar Pradesh tomorrow," according to the statement cited by news agency ANI.