Polio: 90 p.c. coverage in Madurai district

HEALTHCARE: A child being administered polio drops in Madurai on Sunday.

HEALTHCARE: A child being administered polio drops in Madurai on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: S. James.

Special Correspondent

Parents hesitant but not resistant, says Deputy Director

MADURAI: The second round of Pulse Polio Immunisation for children held on Sunday had achieved 90.15 per cent coverage in Madurai district.

Out of the estimated 3,01,696 children up to five years of age, the polio drops were administered to 2,71,989 children, according to officials of Health Department. While the turnout of parents at the immunisation booths was less till noon, it gradually picked up from around 2.p.m. and by the end of the day the total coverage crossed 90 per cent.

“This number is pretty high keeping in mind the last time rumours about polio vaccine safety. The Health Department took lot of steps for removing the fears among people about the polio immunisation,” A. Palanichamy, Deputy Director of Health Services, Madurai district, said.

During the first round of pulse polio immunisation that took place on December 21, rumours were spread at different places in the State that children died after the polio vaccine was administered.

In Madurai Corporation areas, Mayor G. Thenmozhi formally launched the programme by administering drops to children at urban health post in K. Pudur.

Dr. Palanichamy said that the low turnout in the morning was not only because of fear factor and hesitation among the parents but it also happened to be a ‘muhurat day’ with various marriages and functions.

“Parents were only hesitant but not resistant to immunisation,” he said.

Totally, the district had 1,600 polio immunisation booths and 6,844 personnel from various departments and organisations on duty.

Door-to- door verification

Beginning from February 2, the Health Department would undertake door-to-door verification of children who missed this round of immunisation. The activity would be carried out for next one week in both urban and rural areas.

At the Primary Health Centres, children would be given the polio drops at the time of routine immunisation done on Wednesdays.

Southern Railway

Elaborate arrangements were made by the Southern Railway at various railway stations for immunising children travelling by trains. Besides setting up two booths at the Madurai Junction in collaboration with the city Corporation, the Southern Railway also had booths at railway stations including Dindigul, Palani, Virudhunagar, Tenkasi, Sengottai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Rameswaram, Manamadurai etc.

According to railway officials, 3,348 children were administered the pulse polio vaccine at the railway booths. Booths were there at Railway Hospital, Southern Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation Matriculation School and Railway Colony. Mobile booths functioned to cover railway colonies and wayside stations.

Recommended for you