Emergency polio drive starts in Delhi

March 13th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Delhi government Thursday started an emergency polio immunisation drive and authorities went door to door to administer drops to children below five years. “A team of health workers would be visiting homes to immunize children,” said Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The six-day-long polio drive targets 280,000 children in 13 polio prone assembly constituencies of the national capital.

These constituencies include Hari Nagar, Rajouri Garden, Madipur, Trinagar, Patel Nagar and Rajinder Nagar.

Authorities said these areas are prone to the disease as migrants from polio prone areas of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar live there.

The state government took a decision to start an emergency drive after Delhi reported the first case of P1 poliovirus, the most virulent form of the polio strain. The case was also the first P1 case in India this year.

The present drive is aimed at containing the spread of P1 polio strain.

The case was detected in a 14-month-old girl in the first week of March and the officials said the child’s family had migrated from Bihar just six months back.

“Health officials came to our house and gave polio drops to my son. Unlike the regular polio drives, this time authorities took down the name and age of my son,” said Seema Anand of Subhash Nagar.

Till last week, India reported 119 cases of polio of which 118 are P3 cases. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have reported over 95 percent of the total.

India has been struggling for the last two years to contain polio. In 2007, the country reported 864 cases of polio as against 676 in 2006.

Delhi reported seven cases in 2006 and two cases in 2007 but in both years it was the P3 virus.

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