Any case of wild polio will be treated as public health emergency

President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday launched the Pulse Polio Immunisation programme 2014 here, administering vaccine to six children.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said more than 17 crore children would be vaccinated in this round with the help of 23 lakh frontline workers and volunteers, who would fan across the country to reach every child up to five years of age to ensure a high level of immunity.

Besides setting up 102 polio vaccination posts along international borders, any case of wild polio would be treated as a public health emergency.

“From a position when India had more than 2 lakh children crippled by polio each year, we have come to a time in history where not a single child has suffered wild polio for the last three years. This is monumental victory — and has paved the way for formal certification by the WHO as a polio-free nation,” the Minister said.

Referring to the last polio case reported from Howrah in West Bengal on January 13, 2011, he said the response was razor sharp and was globally cited as the fastest response time.

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