The annual drive against polio is back again. On February 19, the first round of Pulse Polio Immunisation will be held and it would be followed with a second round on April 1.

Public health officials of Madurai district are gearing up for the immunisation drive in coordination with district administration and special manpower is being deployed to ensure that all children from 0 to 5 years of age are covered.

The Deputy Director of Health Services V.Shanmughasundaram along with Assistant Director (Public Health) R. Abdul Kareem had called for a meeting with medical officers to discuss arrangements at block level and high-risk areas were identified.

Official sources told “The Hindu” that the vaccine for pulse polio immunisation will reach Madurai on Wednesday and all arrangements were made to send it to booths.

“We don't have polio cases anymore, but still the Health Department is maintaining the same momentum and intensity in the fight against polio. In Madurai district, there will be totally 1,600 polio immunisation booths covering both urban and rural areas,” a health official has said on Tuesday.

Booths will be there at all Primary Health Centres, health sub-centres and ICDS centres besides bus stands, railway station, airport and important public places.

Of the 1,600 polio booths where polio drops would be administered to children, 1,298 are in rural areas while the remaining 302 would be in urban localities.

Health officials said that 3,04,840 children are estimated to be covered in the immunisation drive.

To carry out the work, 7,479 volunteers are being deployed drawing staff from various departments including health, social welfare and revenue departments.

High-risk areas in district borders which are in hilly terrain and some interior villages with remote accessibility were identified for special focus on February 19 and April 1, officials said.

Meenakshipuram near Natham and Mukkathanparai in Sedapatti block are among the special areas to be given attention.

Special teams

Special teams were formed to monitor immunisation activity in public places and district-level supervisory team was formed by the district administration.

There will be 184 supervisors who would oversee the immunisation in Madurai district.

While all efforts are being taken to cover all children in the target group, the health authorities would undertake door-to-door verification soon after the immunisation days to check whether any child had missed the vaccine.

Focus

“Our focus will be more on migrant labourers from north India whose children should be covered without fail since some northern States are in vulnerable list. Narikuruvas would be covered,” the official said and added that the Madurai district health authorities are putting in place a strict surveillance.

A coordination meeting at district level will be held on February 9 at the Collectorate.

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