IN A first, the Chandigarh health department has decided to launch a night pulse polio immunisation drive in the city later this month. Health officials said teams would vaccinate the children of homeless people, who spent the night in different parts of the city.
UT health sources said as part of the drive, the health department, under the initiative, Taare Zameen Par – A Night Vigil, will set up teams so that those children, who are usually left out during the day, are vaccinated. “During every pulse polio round, the activities are carried out for three days comprising booth activity on the first day and house-to-house visit on second and third days. This time, for the first time, besides the day activities, we will conduct the immunisation drive from 9 to 11 at night,” a senior health official told Chandigarh Newsline on Wednesday.
He said that since booth activities as well as house-to-house visits are undertaken during the day, the “health teams are not able to cater to the underprivileged, ragpickers as well as those who live in night shelters and are usually not available during the day. The idea is to target those children who live in places that cannot be earmarked in the micro plans”. “So, under the initiative, teams shall be sent to the areas where the children settle with the families in the evening. A team shall be going to these areas and ensure that no child is left unvaccinated,” the official added.
Chandigarh Health Service, Director, Dr G Dewan, said with the help of this initiative, the department wants to cover all children in Chandigarh for pulse polio vaccination. Pulse polio drive is being conducted across the country as a national initiative since 1995. “The areas for night vigil have been sought from sector supervisors of the department and we are preparing a list of places these teams would visit,” said Dewan. The Chandigarh health department is also approaching the UT police so that one constable accompanies every team during the vaccination drive. According to the department, 97,780 children are expected to be vaccinated this month.