Shastry V. Mallady

Health Minister warns rumour mongers

MADURAI: The State Government will undertake a massive publicity campaign about the safety of polio vaccine ahead of the second round of Pulse Polio Immunisation (PPI) on February 1.

The campaign has been planned in the wake of rumours that had affected the immunisation process for children during the first round of PPI on December 21.

M.R.K. Panneerselvam, Health and Family Welfare Minister, told The Hindu here on Sunday that the proposed awareness campaign was aimed at dispelling fears among the parents regarding the vaccine’s safety.

A meeting of senior officials of Health Department would be convened shortly to chalk out a strategy for the next round of polio immunisation for children.

“People need not panic about polio vaccine being administered to children. The same polio drops were given to 18 crore children in the country,” he said.

Stating that the State Government would act swiftly against rumour mongers, the Health Minister said that the notice was issued to those who indulged in creating panic among people last time.

‘108 ambulance’ and Satyam scam

Asked about the doubts raised over the ‘108 ambulance’ in the wake of Satyam scam, he said that the State Government will take all possible steps to ensure that the free ambulance service is run without any hitch.

“It will be available as usual because the Government funding exists for the service,” he assured.

He also warned that the Government would not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those Health Department staff found guilty of dereliction of duty in Primary Health Centres and Government hospitals.