Ahead of the second national immunization round against polio on April 15,employees of the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) have threatened a boycott to protest the non-payment of arrears.
Nearly 4 lakh children will be covered as part of the drive in the city,while the target in the state is 1.19 crore.
Pradeep Dixit,Chairman of All India Family Planning Welfare Association,said they have no other option but to boycott the Pulse Polio drive as a mark of their protest against non payment of arrears for eight years. He added the family planning centres run by NGOs have not been getting the grant from the government and nine such centres have now taken private aid.
Hospitals such as KEM,Lokmanya Medical Foundation,Wadia,Nanal,Anand Medical Foundation as well as fpai that had NGOs helping them run the family welfare centres have to make do with private aid. Lack of government grants have also led to no increments in salaries,says Dixit.
Currently,there are 40 NGOs that assist the government in coordinating with the family welfare centres.
Registration of pregnant women,immunization of children,family planning surgeries and the related duties were assigned to the NGOs,which were directed to meet 85 per cent of the target,he said.
We hope to highlight our demands once again by boycotting the Pulse Polio drive, he said.
During the recent national immunization round in February,the NGOs had helped manage 78 booths and administered doses to 13,600 children.
They had subsequently visited 9,000 families as a follow-up to the programme.
While MLA Girish Bapat has actively voiced FPAIs concern,the health minister has now called a meeting on Friday to discuss the issue. According to PMC officials,alternative arrangements are now being worked out to ensure the drive is conducted without a hitch.