Day One of pulse polio clocks 83 pc coverage

The first phase of the annual pulse polio campaign kickstarted here on Sunday. A whopping 83.56 per cent of the children were immunised in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) areas on Day One.

With a total of 2,094 booths and 8,376 volunteers, the campaign was undertaken in medical centres, educational institutions and all other places where the public could access the facility easily.

With an estimated target of immunising 6.5 lakh children below the age of five in the BBMP areas, on the first day, around 5.43 lakh children were immunised. Over the next two days, volunteers will go door-to-door administering the polio vaccination to ensure that all children are immunised. 

U T Khader, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, inaugurated the pulse polio drive in the City at the HSIS Gosha Hospital by administering polio drops to a few children. Mayor Katte Satyanarayana and BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana were present at the launch of the campaign.

Khader said, “India has emerged as a polio-free nation due to the anti-polio campaign in the last 19 years.” “The department has set up over 32,000 polio booths all over the State to cover 75 lakh children aged between zero and five.” He lauded the efforts of various non-governmental organisations which worked for the success of the campaign. Khader appealed to the parents to extend co-operation to the department to ensure that the State continues to remain polio-free.

Across the State, 85.9 per cent of the children were immunised across the State. Madan Gopal, principal secretary of the department, said, “A total of 82.13 per cent of the children were covered in the urban areas and 88.31 per cent coverage was achieved in rural areas. The number will hopefully increase in the next two to three days,” he said. While districts such as Bijapur, Bagalkot and Chamarajanagar showed improvement as compared to previous years, Gulbarga continued to lag behind.

“Only 74.75 per cent of the children were covered in the district, despite all awareness programmes,” Gopal said. Rural Gulbarga showed a higher percentage than urban areas. “Rural areas recorded 79.73 per cent coverage, while it was 67.96 per cent in the urban areas.” He said Bidar, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur and Koppal were marked as high focus areas, where the intensive drive would be on for three more days. Udupi recorded the highest coverage with 95.50 per cent.

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