Volume 2 Issue 1 - January 01, 2004

Government aid needed to eradicate polio from the country

DNIS News Network -- A panel working on eradicating polio from the country has approached the government to seek help in its mission.

A committee comprising the Director General of the Indian Council for Medical Reasearch, Dr N.K. Ganguly, representative of the Centre for Disease Control, Atlanta, Dr Steve Kochi, WHO In-charge of the Global Polio Eradication programme, Dr Bruce Aylward and others, submitted a report to the Health Ministry recommending that President A.P.J. Kalam and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee be requested to make public appeals through media to get national support for polio eradication.

The urgency lies in the fact that while high-risk areas like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were found to be "promising", Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have been listed as the new risk zones. This outbreak in the southern states demonstrates significant threat to areas that have previously been polio-free. The committee has called the next six months "the most critical period for polio eradication and also a period when strong government leadership at all levels is most crucial."
The key recommendations of the committee are:

  • The government should implement the national policy of giving polio vaccine together with BCG at the time of birth.
  • The Prime Minister should hold a meeting with chief ministers of different states. Briefings for chief ministers should be held every two weeks.
  • Additional doses of polio vaccine to children where a case is detected.

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