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India free from polio, then why has govt launched drive against it

According to UNICEF, the last two countries where wild polio still occurs are Pakistan and Afghanistan. "In five out of eight countries in South Asia (Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh), more than 90 per cent of children have been fully immunized," says UNICEF.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 19, 2020 8:01:46 pm
India free from polio, then why is govt launching drive to eradicate it President Kovind launches the Pulse Polio Programme by administering Polio drops to children at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

In a bid to mark the Pulse Polio Programme, the Rashtrapati Bhawan became the site of a polio vaccination drive Sunday as Union Health Ministry launched the campaign to check the disease that impairs children at a young age. The event witnessed President Ram Nath Kovind and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan participating in the drive as they administered the vaccine drops to infants.

Announcing the drive on its official Twitter handle, the National Health Portal stated that although India is free from polio, there is a possibility that the poliomyelitis virus might make a comeback as the neighbouring countries like Pakistan haven’t officially eradicated the disease.

“India is free from polio but the disease still persists in some countries & it may come back. Make sure every child under 5 years of age gets polio drops. This #NationalImmunizationDay Lets pledge not to miss any rounds,” it stated.

Also, Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasamy oversaw the drive as he kick-started a drive in his constituency of Nellithope, where he administered drops to children at a government higher secondary school.

PTI reported that there are around 98,000 children eligible for the coverage under the drive. Over 450 places, including government hospitals, were used for holding the camp in Puducherry.

According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the last two countries where wild polio still occurs are Pakistan and Afghanistan. “In five out of eight countries in South Asia (Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh), more than 90 per cent of children have been fully immunized,” says UNICEF.

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