National Polio Immunisation Programme to begin on Jan 31

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will launch the National Immunisation Day or ‘Polio Ravivar’ on 30th January by administering Polio drops to some children at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.  The National Polio immunisation programme has been rescheduled to January 31 from its earlier date January 17 across India in the light of massive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive.

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  • As the part of the programme, children in the age group of 0-5 years will be administered polio drops.
  • The National Immunisation Day (NID) is commonly known as Pulse Polio Immunisation programme or National Polio Immunisation Programme.

National Immunisation Day

It is an immunisation campaign established by the government of India that eliminate poliomyelitis (polio) in India. The campaign vaccinates all children under the age of five years against the polio virus. The campaign seeks to fight polio through a large-scale, pulse vaccination programme.  It also monitors the poliomyelitis cases.

Background

  • India started its vaccination against polio in the year 1978 with Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). The EPI covered around 60% of infants by 1999.
  • The Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) was launched in 1985 with the objective to cover all the districts of the country.
  • In the year 1992, the UIP became a part of child survival and safe motherhood program (CSSM).
  • In line with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative of the World Health Organization (1988), India launched Pulse Polio immunization program with Universal Immunization Program with an aim of 100% coverage.

Polio cases in India

With several steps, the number of reported cases of polio has declined from thousands during 1987 to 42 in 2010. Tamil Nadu (Vellore) became the first Indian state to become 100% polio-free through the pulse strategy. India reported its last polio case on January 13, 2011 in West Bengal and Gujarat. Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared India a polio free country on March 24, 2014 after no cases of wild polio was reported in for five years.