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Nine Barmer health centres remain closed, no child immunized on polio day

jaipur Updated: Apr 11, 2017 21:10 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times
pulse polio,barmer,pakistan

The Government of India had declared Barmer and Jodhpur as high risk areas considering their proximity with Pakistan, a polio endemic country.(HT FILE PHOTO)

BARMER: Hundreds of children below the age of five in Barmer district were not administered polio vaccine during the ‘National Pulse Polio Campaign’ on April 2, a surprise inspection by the health department has revealed.

The Government of India had declared Barmer and Jodhpur as high risk areas considering their proximity with Pakistan, a polio endemic country. In high risk areas, extra rounds of immunization are carried out. However, several health centres failed to carry out the recent drive.

This came to fore after Barmer district collector Sudheer Sharma directed the health department to carry out a surprise inspection of the health centres and submit a report. Sharma’s order had come after locals complained to him during village meetings that most of the health centres remain closed.

Deputy chief medical and health officer, Barmer, Dr PC Dipen carried out an inspection of the health centers in three blocks --- Barmer, Chohtan and Dhorimanna --- from March 31 to April 2.In a report, submitted to Sharma on April 5, Dipen mentioned that he visited 9 sub-health centers on April 2, found all the them closed. Thus, not a single child under the age of five in villages that fall under these centers was administered polio vaccine.

Besides this, Dipen detected several other irregularities. On March 31, he visited ‘Hathi Ka Tala’ sub center and found it closed. He also found that staff was not maintaining list of left out and drop out children under Mission Indradhanush. There were no records of high risk pregnant women and also reproductive and child health register was not maintained.

He also found that government staff indulged in private practice during the duty hours. Some centers were not maintaining OPD records and the duty register.

Confirming the report chief medical and health officer, Barmer, Dr Hemraj Soni said that they have submitted the report to the district collector and action against the erring officials would be taken soon.

Meanwhile the Barmer district collector has directed the health department to take disciplinary action against the negligent staff and submit the report in seven days.

Government had declared Barmer, which shares border with Pakistan, and Jodhpur, where the weekly Thar Express that plies between the two countries terminates, as high risk areas for recurrence of polio. Every week hundreds of passengers from Pakistan come to India aboard this train.

After WHO certified India as polio-free country, the Union government made it mandatory for the passengers of Thar Express to produce a valid polio vaccine certificate before entering India. After it came to fore that some passengers were entering India using forged certificates, the Centre launched special immunization drive for the two districts.

First Published: Apr 11, 2017 21:09 IST