The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 20 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nearly 2 lakh kids on polio vaccine radar

Feb. 19: The Kamrup (metropolitan) health service has managed to achieve 95 per cent of the targeted children during the first phase of pulse polio immunisation programme last month.

In the second phase, health officials will try to achieve 100 per cent coverage that will be conducted across the Kamrup (metropolitan) district from February 24 to 27.

During the second phase of the immunisation programme, the district health service targets to immunise 196,000 children in the age group up to five years.

For this purpose, over 800 booths have been set up in Anganwadi centres, primary health centres, community health centres, first referral units and at transit points like Guwahati station, Adabari bus stand and at major construction sites teeming with labourers’ children.

“During the first phase of the immunisation programme, we managed to immunise 95 per cent of the targeted children. In the second phase, we are aiming for 100 per cent coverage of the targeted 196,000 children. This will be an intensifying immunisation programme. On the first day, children will be administered drops of polio vaccine at different designated booths. In the next three days, our health workers will make door-to-door visits to administer the drops to children who may have missed out on the first day,” district immunisation officer Ulupi Phukan Baruah said.

Health officials cite several reasons for a child missing out on polio drops during an immunisation programme. Sometimes parents fail to bring their children to immunisation booths. Sometimes a child cannot be immunised if he or she is suffering from a serious infection.

Auxiliary nurses and midwives (ANMs), assisted by Anganwadi workers, will administer polio drops to children. Nurses from private nursing homes will also be providing assistance. Doctors and supervisors will be present at the sites to monitor implementation of the programme.

“If any child brought for immunisation suffers from any kind of sickness, the ANMs will refer him or her to doctors present on the spot, who will screen them. Then the doctors will take a call on whether to administer polio drops to him or her,” said Phukan Baruah.

“Like every year, booths will be set up at transit points like railway stations and bus stands. Booths are also set up in major construction sites as many children of the construction workers are present at such sites. Easy accessibility of vaccines will help them to get their children immunised,” said S. Sen, an official of the Kamrup (metropolitan) health service.