The second phase of the polio drive will begin from February 23

The National Pulse Polio Programme, 2014, whose aim is eradication of polio, will be held in two phases in Dakshina Kannada district, said Ratnakar, District Programme Managment Officer, at a press meet held in the city on Thursday.

He said the drops to prevent polio will be administered to children between the ages of 0 to 5 in the first phase on January 19, 20, 21, and 22 and on February 23, 24, 25, and 26 in the second phase. It would be held on all four days in Mangalore City and on the first three days in rural areas.

He said children of migrant labourers living in the city should be given the drops without fail. 1,68,336 children would be given polio drops at 921 centres.

M. Rukmini, Reproductive Child Health Officer, said no child should miss taking polio drops but “so-called sophisticated” people refused to take the drops; they said the children had taken routine immunisation or that their paediatrician has told them the child had been immunised and there was no need to get the drops. Such children may be safe themselves but may pass on polio to others.

Herd immunity

Routine immunisation took care of each child’s immunity but to prevent its spread, “herd immunity” was required. She said “pulse” implies that all children in the age group must get the drops “to break the transmission”. Also, some parents said their children were already immunised but with time, the strain (type) of the polio kept changing. “Our problem is more pronounced in MCC (areas),” she said. Residents in apartments do not allow workers with polio drops to enter.

In Udupi, the Department of Health and Family Welfare would take up the first round of campaign to administer oral pulse polio drops to 88,199 children in Udupi district on January 19.

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