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Pulse Polio Programme

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Pulse Polio Programme

What to study?

For Prelims: What is IPV and its significance, about polio.

For Mains: Pulse Polio Programme- significance and the need.

 Context: January 18 marked the beginning of this year’s Pulse Polio Programme. The Union health ministry has launched the campaign to check the disease that affects children at a young age.

What is Polio?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines polio or poliomyelitis as “a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children.”

Transmission: The virus is transmitted by person-to-person, spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g. contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.

Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization.”

What is the Pulse Polio Programme?

India launched the Pulse Polio immunisation programme in 1995, after a resolution for a global initiative of polio eradication was adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1988.

Coverage:

Children in the age group of 0-5 years are administered polio drops during national and sub-national immunisation rounds (in high-risk areas) every year.

Polio in India:

The WHO on February 24, 2012, removed India from the list of countries with active endemic wild polio virus transmission.

Two years later, the South-East Asia Region of the WHO, of which India is a part, was certified as polio-free.
Prevention:

To prevent the virus from coming to India, the government has since March 2014 made the Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) mandatory for those travelling between India and polio-affected countries, such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Syria and Cameroon.

Sources: the Hindu.