KARNATAKA

29 polio cases reported in State

Bangalore Nov. 10. The State has seen a resurgence of polio in the past few months with 29 cases being reported till October-end. This is despite the pulse polio immunisation campaign being carried out all over the country.

According to the State Health Department officials, polio cases have been reported in the northern districts of the State, with Bellary having the highest number of 18 cases. Koppal and Gulbarga districts have reported three cases each and Raichur five. The State did not report a single polio case in 2001 and 2002 owing to the effective immunisation drive. Before that, a case was reported in Raichur in November 2000.

However, around nine cases of polio were reported till the beginning of August. This puts the State in the third place in the country, in terms of high incidence of polio, after Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has reported 64 cases till October, while Andhra Pradesh has around 30 cases.

According to the Health Department officials, lack of routine immunisation during the national immunisation days in North Karnataka districts led to an increase in the number of cases there. There was inadequate coverage during the polio immunisation campaign, and around 30 per cent of children had not been covered in those districts. The coverage was adequate in the southern parts of the State which has not reported any case.

Responding to the re-emergence of polio, the Government has launched a special immunisation round in 12 districts from November 9 to 11.

Around 27 lakh children are proposed to be covered under the special round on these three days, R.K. Kumaraswamy, Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Project Director, told The Hindu.

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