The Health Department will take up the polio immunisation drive for children immediately after Pongal.

The first round of Pulse Polio Immunisation will be conducted on January 20 (Sunday) and nearly three lakh children up to five years of age are expected to be covered in Madurai district.

Public health officials said that 1,600 polio immunisation booths will be set up in urban and rural areas.

While 2,98,093 children (0 to 5 years) are to be administered polio drops in the district, steps are also being taken to cover those children who will be in transit on that day and passing through Madurai. In total, 5,546 staff from various Government departments and non-governmental organisations will be deployed to conduct the drive. According to officials, children of migrant workers and those living in Sri Lankan refugee camps will be given special focus. With polio immunisation being pursued for the last 18 years in the country, the number of polio cases has reduced drastically.

“The last case of polio was reported in West Bengal in 2011. If the same nil case status is maintained for three years, India will be declared polio free by the World Health Organisation. Tamil Nadu had its last polio case in 2004,” an official said.

Collector Anshul Mishra reviewed the arrangements made for the immunisation drive during a meeting with health officials here on Saturday.

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