No case of wild polio virus in 2 years: Azad

‘Immunization campaign for polio eradication to start from Jan 20’

New Delhi, Jan 13: Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Sunday that there has been no case of wild polio virus in India in two years.
After the launch of NID Polio Round 2013 by the President Pranab Mukherjee who administered polio drops, Azad said that India completed two years without any case of wild polio virus.
“It is a momentous day for the country as the World Health Organization has removed India from the list of polio endemic countries on 25th February 2012. This is a historical achievement since there was a perception among experts that India would be the last country to eradicate polio. This was more so because India accounted for half of the total polio cases in the world till 2009,” he added.
“The polio eradication effort will continue to be one of the thrust areas of the Government since the risk of polio persists as long as there is wild polio virus in the world. To mitigate the risk, we need to protect every child up to the age of 5 years with the polio vaccine till polio is eradicated globally,” he said.
“We have put in place an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan which we are committed to implement in all states across the country. Under this plan, a case of poliovirus anywhere in the country will be treated as a public health emergency and Rapid Response Teams will be formed in all the States and Union Territories to respond effectively to any case of polio importation.”
Azad informed that the Nation-wide Immunization Campaign for Polio Eradication would start on 20th  January 2013 in which more than 17 crore children of less than 5 years of age will be given polio drops. Over 23 lakh volunteers will participate in the massive national effort, with more than 1.5 lakh supervisors monitoring the quality and coverage of the Immunization activity. A campaign of such scale and size is unique in the world.
“India will continue to make further progress in the fight against polio so that the South East Asia Region including India is declared Polio free in 2014,” he added.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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