Over 2.5 million Delhi kids to get polio drops Sunday

May 31st, 2008 - 8:28 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Over 2.5 million children below the age of five will be administered polio drops Sunday, an effort aimed at making Delhi Polio free. Exhorting parents to bring in their children for immunisation, Delhi Health Minister Yoganand Shastri Saturday said the capital would strive hard to completely eliminate polio.

“Delhi was first to initiate Pulse Polio immunisation programme and would like to lead in elimination of this disease, which not only hampers physical and mental growth of children but also make them handicapped for rest of their lives,” said Shastri.

The capital city had initiated the polio immunisation programme in 1994 and launched a door-to-door immunisation drive in 1999.

Delhi has been witnessing cases of polio mainly due to the large number of immigrants it has. In the last five months, Delhi reported two cases of polio - one P1 and one P3. The first case of virulent P1 virus was detected in Delhi a couple of months back.

India is the worst polio-affected country in the world. In 2007, the country reported 873 cases and till May end this year, India witnessed 251 cases of polio. Bihar and Uttar Pradseh have over 90 percent of the cases.

Shastri said Delhi has set up 7,500 booths in hospitals, railway stations, metro stations, bus terminals, religious places and other crowded places of public importance.

“Around 30,000 workers and employees of the state health department would be deployed to ensure maximum reach from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” the minister added.

Also around 17,000 workers in 8,600 teams would visit different colonies including slums and shanty clusters to search for leftover cases and administer polio drops.

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