January 26, 2017 1:14:53 am
As many as 1.21 crore children will be immunised against polio in the state, as part of the Pulse Polio Campaign on January 29. Dr Archana Patil, Additional Director of Health, State Family Welfare Bureau, said the campaign will, for the first time, use bOPV (bivalent oral polio vaccine). The global switch from trivalent oral polio vaccine (tOPV) to bOPV took place on April 25 last year and the last round using the tOPV was conducted on January 17 and February 21 last year. This year, the campaign will be conducted on January 29 and April 2.
Dr Vijay Bawiskar, State Immunisation Officer, said special attention will be given to migratory population, such as the families of the homeless, construction workers, slum dwellers, sugarcane cutters, among others.
A total of 84,782 booths have been set up with a workforce of about 21,8,486. Patil said India has adopted the polio eradication and endgame strategy plan declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 2013-18. The last case of polio was reported on January 13, 2011, and India was declared polio free on March 27, 2014.
Patil further pointed out at the decline in the number of Muslim families refusing vaccination for children at Malegaon and Bhiwandi. There are now a handful of 500 such families who still refuse vaccination and we are trying to appeal to the religious leaders and clerics to help us change their attitude. Meanwhile, to ensure that private practitioners are no longer using tOPV, health teams will also be monitoring the situation on January 29.
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Pointing out that there was also a global shortage of injectible polio vaccine (IPV), Patil said they have provided sufficient stock of IPV to government-run hospitals and primary health centres.
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