The Centre has identified 107 high-risk polio-affected blocks 66 in UP and 41 in Bihar and mooted a special 107 block plan to be implemented in these blocks to boost eradication efforts.
Under the plan chalked out in coordination with both states,a high-quality polio immunisation would be launched in which the existing routine programme would be strengthened by posting more government doctors in the blocks and putting cold chains in place.
We have identified high-risk polio-affected blocks in UP and Bihar. We are holding regular meetings with the state health officials as their support is vital for the implementation of the plan, said Dr S D Khaperde,deputy commissioner,Immunisation,Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Under the plan,new initiatives would be taken to improve drinking water and sanitation conditions,said sources. Efforts would also be made to reduce prevalence of diarrhoea by distributing ORS and zinc tablets.
Various studies have established that poor sanitation and drinking water facilities leading to diarrhoea were also the cause for children being susceptible to poliovirus. While the new bivalent oral polio vaccine has already been introduced,the new plan is expected to take care of the remaining hurdles in polio eradication.
Despite widespread efforts to eliminate poliovirus,India topped in the number of cases in polio-affected countries across the world last year.