Staff Reporter

NPSP regional coordinator call for covering more children in 0-5 age group

India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria identified as endemic areasNPSP regional coordinator call for covering more children in 0-5 age groupPreparations on for nationwide pulse polio programme on April 2 and May 14

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Government of India and World Health Organisation (WHO)-funded National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP) feels that better immunity profile through administration of oral polio vaccine (OPV) alone will help achieve a polio-free world.

Speaking at a Rotary International District 3020 polio plus planning and orientation workshop here on Sunday, NPSP regional coordinator Pavan Murthy said immunity gaps should be bridged with the coverage of more children in the age group of 0-5 with at least four doses.

The Bangalore-based health administrator said India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria were identified as endemic areas. Though no fresh polio virus case was found in Niger, frequent migration of people from the tiny African country had remained a matter of concern to many.

Big challenge

Dr. Murthy said circulation by polio genetic families of Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen had also posed a big challenge to those striving for eradication of polio from the world.

Though 22 countries had recorded import of polio cases, Angola, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, Somalia and Yemen had outbreak of cases due to internal circulation.

Disclosing that the few cases reported in India had their origin from Somalia and Ethiopia, he said NPSP had found 134 cases in 2004, of which 82 were reported from Western UP and 39 from Bihar.

VUDA Chairman P.S.N. Raju (Ravi), who was the chief guest, complimented the efforts made by the Rotary for complete eradication of polio.

Nationwide campaign

Past District Governor D. Varada Reddy said they were holding workshops in all revenue districts to prepare volunteers for another round of nationwide polio plus programme on April 2 and May 14.

Rotary Club Visakha Valley president M.V. Janakiram spoke.