The second phase of this year's Pulse Polio immunisation was carried out across the State on Sunday, with the district health administration administering oral polio vaccine to 87.9 per cent of children below five years of age.
The target population in the district was 2,48,280, of whom 2,13,516 children were vaccinated. The rest would be covered when the health workers go on mop-up rounds in the next two days by visiting homes, health officials said.
“This year, our focus was on covering the children of the migrant population in the district. Though the State has not reported a single case of polio since 2,000, the influx of migrant labourers from Bihar, Orissa, UP and West Bengal is a looming threat for us, as polio cases continue to be reported there,” the District Programme Manager of National Rural Health Mission, B. Unnikrishnan, said.
The district administration had collected information from each primary health centre in the district on the number of children below five years of age who belong to the families of the migrant labourers.
“We identified 725 children of the migrant population in the district, in the target age group. On Sunday, 393 out of 725 children were administered the vaccine in the booths across the district. We will ensure that the rest of the migrant children are administered the vaccine in their houses itself,” Dr. Unnikrishnan said.
The first phase of the Pulse Polio round held earlier in February had achieved a target coverage of 91 per cent.
The State-level inauguration of the second round of Pulse Polio immunisation was held at Women and Children Hospital at Thycaud, where Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar administered the first dose of oral polio vaccine to a child.