Karnataka’s health and family welfare department hopes to vaccinate at least 65 lakh children in the polio drive that is all set to take place starting January 28.
The vaccination drive would take place at designated booths and would also be conducted by mobile teams. Karnataka will have 32,437 designated booths and 51,972 mobile teams.
Volunteers have been roped in from various government and non-government organisations for the drive. The state will see 1,03,944 vaccinators while 6,546 would supervise the process.
The immunisation would be made available even on the go to benefit anyone travelling on the days of the drive. Also, to reach out to remote pockets in the state, teams have been formed by the health and family welfare department. As many as 941 mobile teams and 1,749 transit teams have been formed.
According to the health and family welfare department, polio is an acute viral illness causing paralysis and deaths in children. There were more than 3 lakh children across the world getting paralysed by polio every year before 1988, affecting almost all countries.
Even as India is polio free, polio is present in two countries and 22 cases were reported during 2017.
Polio virus is of three serotypes: Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3.
Type 2 has been eradicated world over and no case has been reported since 1999, according to the World Health Organisation. It was officially certified as eradicated by WHO during 2015.
No cases due to Type 3 polio has been reported anywhere in world in the last four years. WHO certification is being awaited to declare it as being officially eradicated.
Type 1, which is the only form which continues to exist, is seen in countries in Asia. While Pakistan reported eight cases in 2017, Afghanistan saw 14 the same year.
India’s last case of Wild Polio Virus was on 13 January, 2011 in West Bengal’s Howrah district. Even as the country has reported no polio cases since then, with cases being seen in the neighbouring countries, India continues to immunise children against the virus.
In the drive, every child is given five doses of OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) and two doses of IPV (inactivated injectable polio vaccine) under the Government Immunisation Schedule. The drive takes place in two rounds between January 28 and March 11.