TAMIL NADU

Polio campaign carried out smoothly in Tiruchi

Special Correspondent

More than 85 per cent covered during the second phase

TIRUCHI: The second phase of the Pulse Polio Immunisation programme went off smoothly in the district on Sunday under tighter medical supervision following the rumours that marred the first phase.

Though there appeared to be some initial hesitation among people, as manifest through the thin crowds at the vaccination centres in the city this morning, the turnout increased gradually as the day progressed. The Health Department had deployed mobile teams of medical officers to supervise the programme.

“Some hesitation was apparent initially and people appeared to wait till they knew that there was no problem. But as some got their children vaccinated, the message spread by word of mouth and more walked in with their children,” observed a health official.

“After the first phase, we had some fears. But my neighbours got their child vaccinated in the morning and I decided to bring my kid,” said K. Lakshmi, who had brought her two-year girl to a vaccination centre at Thillai Nagar by noon. The district administration and Health Department had taken up an extensive publicity campaign in the run up to the second phase.

An estimated 2.63 lakh children in the district were targeted to be covered under the programme.

About 91,000 children in urban areas and 1.72 lakh children in the rural areas were to be covered.

The vaccine was administered through 1,470 centres in the district, including 213 in the city.

\Mobile teams were also deployed to administer the oral vaccine to children in places of public congregation such as bus stands, airport, railway stations and places of worship. A focussed attempt was made to cover children of migrant families, including artisans/traders from North India and Narikuravas.

By the end of the day, officials said 61,420 children were administered the drops in the Corporation limits against the targeted population of about 83,000. Commissioner T.T. Balsamy issued an appeal to the residents to get their children vaccinated over the door-to-door campaign to be held over the next two days.

A. Mohan, Deputy Director (in-charge), Health, told The Hindu that more than 85 per cent of the targeted children population was administered the drops.

Door-to-door campaign

A door-to-door campaign would be carried out over the next couple of days to cover the omitted children. Medical officers in Primary Health Centres and government hospitals were asked to be on duty round-the-clock to attend to emergency cases, he said.

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