India has maintained polio-free status for over seven years as the last case of poliomyelitis was reported in January 2011.
In its effort to maintain a polio-free India, the government is planning to tap children of migrants arriving from Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh and administer them with polio drops, according to a Mint report.
India has maintained the polio-free status for over seven years now and the last case of poliomyelitis was reported in January 2011. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that at least 11 cases have been registered in 2018 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. With a possibility of people moving from these countries to India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is looking to extend the pulse polio campaign to children of these migrants.
Talking about the effort, Pradeep Haldar, Deputy Commissioner (immunisation), MoHFW was quoted as saying, “We are aggressively targeting the mobile and migratory children population in India. In Pulse Polio Campaign our workers were reaching out to children for immunisation. But for total population coverage, we cannot miss on homeless children.”
The ministry has prepared a database of children living near brick kilns, on streets and who belong to nomad families. Over the past six months, it has identified over 40,000 habitats, the official said.
Last month, an Expert Advisory Group on polio had lauded the Centre and state governments for maintaining polio-free status. On June 13, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan chaired the 27th meeting of the Polio India Expert Advisory Group to review its activities.
After the meeting, Sudan noted that there are two types of polio vaccine - oral polio vaccine (OPV) and injectable polio vaccine (IPV) - which are both used in India to provide enhanced protection. She said that the country needs to ensure that every child here receives at least three doses of OPV and two doses of IPV during infancy.(With inputs from PTI)