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Tags Current Affairs

President launches Pulse Polio Programme for 2019

Date: 09 March 2019 Tags: Health

President Ram Nath Kovind launched Pulse Polio programme for 2019 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old at the Rahstrapati Bhawan New Delhi. It was launched on the eve of 2019 National Immunization Day (observed on 9 March). This year more than 17 crore children of less than five years will be given polio drops to sustain polio eradication from the country under this programme.

Pulse Polio

  • It is immunisation campaign aimed at eliminating poliomyelitis (polio) in India by vaccinating all children under the age of five years against polio virus.
  • It was launched in 1995. It fights poliomyelitis through large-scale vaccination programme and monitoring of emerging polio cases.
  • Under it, children in age group of 0-5 years are administered oral polio vaccine drops during national and sub-national immunization rounds every year.
  • Objective: (i) Achieve 100% coverage under Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). (ii) protect children from crippling polio disease by conducting two nationwide mass polio vaccination campaigns and sub-national campaigns each year. (iii) Immunize children through improved social mobilization, plan mop-up operations in areas where poliovirus has almost disappeared and maintain high level of morale among public.

Elimination of polio in India:

India was declared polio free country by World Health Organization (WHO) on 27 March 2014, since no cases of wild polio been reported in for past five years. The last reported cases of wild polio in India were in West Bengal and Gujarat in January 2011.

Polio virus

  • Poliomyelitis (polio) is highly infectious viral disease caused by human enterovirus called poliovirus, which mainly affects young children below age of 5.
  • Polio virus is member virus of Enterovirus C, in family of Picornaviridae. It is composed of RNA genome and a protein capsid.
  • There are three serotypes of wild poliovirus type 1, type 2, and type 3 each with a slightly different capsid protein.
  • Note: Type 2 poliovirus has been declared eradicated in September 2015, with last virus detected in India in 1999.
  • Type 3 wild poliovirus is also eradicated (not yet officially declared) as it has not been detected anywhere in world since November 2012.
  • Transmission: Polio virus is transmitted from person-to-person. It mainly spreads through faecal-oral route (e.g. contaminated water or food).
  • After entering body, it multiplies in intestine, from where it can invade nervous system and can cause paralysis.
  • It can spread rapidly through community, especially in areas of poor sanitation.
  • Symptoms: Its initial symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, vomiting, stiffness in neck, and pain in limbs. In some cases, it causes permanent paralysis.
  • Treatment: There is no cure for polio, but through mass immunization it can be prevented. Different types of polio vaccine are given multiple times to protects children for life from this crippling disease.
  • There are five different vaccines to stop polio transmission viz. Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), Monovalent OPV (mOPV1 and mOPV3), Bivalent OPV (bOPV) and Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV).
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