Pulse polio drive in Telugu states to cover 88 lakh children

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Thousands of children aged up to five years in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were Sunday administered polio oral drops as part of the national intensified pulse polio campaign.

Ministers, legislators, other public representatives, and officials inaugurated the four-day drive in both the Telugu states.

Health authorities have drawn plans to cover over 35 lakh children in Telangana and nearly 53 lakh children in Andhra Pradesh during the special drive.

The intensified campaign which began at 8 a.m. and continued till 5 p.m. saw authorities administering polio drops to 0-5 years age group children at all government healthcare facilities apart from Aanganwadi centres, government schools, public libraries, bus terminals, railway stations, tourism centres, and airports.

In Telangana, the Health Department in coordination with municipal corporations and Panchayat Raj officials established around 25,000 polio booths across the state. The department also deployed close to 800 mobile teams, nearly 8,000 Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs) and over 25,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers to implement the intensified pulse polio drive.

Health Minister T. Harish Rao inaugurated the drive at a centre near Indira Park in Hyderabad. He urged parents to ensure their children are administered the polio drops and make the vaccination drive a success.

Health authorities in Greater Hyderabad are focusing on high-risk localities and slums where nomadic groups reside. Students pursuing nursing, paramedical courses and those from NCC and Lions Club have volunteered to be part of the program.

To cover children who missed out on the first day of the drive, a two-day mop up exercise with field level workers personally visiting slum settlements, construction sites etc to vaccinate children belonging to the transient demography, will be held on Monday and Tuesday.

In Andhra Pradesh, the health authorities set up 37,969 centres and deployed 1,51,876 vaccinators to conduct the drive across the state. The department has constituted 75,938 mobile teams which will go door to door from Monday to administer drops to children who were not covered on Sunday. An official said 1,374 mobile teams have been formed for high-risk areas.

The Health Department is conducting the drive in coordination with various departments like Women and Child Welfare, Municipal Administration, Panchayat Raj, Tribal Welfare, Transport, and Education.

Andhra Pradesh had last recorded a case of polio on July 16, 2008 in Samarlakota in East Godavari district.

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