Bihar to give polio eradication tips to Pak
Even as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Pakistan visit has generated a lot of interest among the people there, the neighbouring country has decided to take a leaf out of Bihar’s book and learn how to eradicate the dreadful disease - polio.
In 2009, Bihar had reported 117 polio cases. But after the introduction of bivalent oral polio vaccine (BOPV), which protects against both the P1 and P3 virus, no fresh case has been reported in the state since September 2010.
The decision to send a Pakistani team was taken after Shahnaz Wazir Ali, a member of the National Assembly and special assistant to the Pakistan Prime Minister, met Nitish Kumar whereupon the chief minister explained the systematic and sustained campaign launched by his government for the eradication of polio.
“The key to success was a micro-level plan of routine immunisation, which increased from 18.6 per cent in 2005 to 66.8 per cent in 2009-10. No polio cases have been reported after September 2010,” Nitish Kumar, who is on a week-long visit to Pakistan, told the leaders there.
Polio is a crippling disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system through mouth (faecal-oral route) and causes paralysis within hours. It affects children under five years of age.
While P1-type is the most deadly one, P3-type of polio virus is less dreadful.
With Nitish being away in Pakistan, Diwali celebration at his official residence – 1, Aney Marg, was a low-key affair. This was the first time ever since he assumed power in November 2005 that Nitish had to spend Diwali in a foreign country.