Polio Eradication And Endgame Strategy

Govt targets mobile and migratory population to prevent re-emergence of polio virus


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Polio Virus, Mission Indradhanush

Mains level: Preventing resurgence of Polio in India


Preventing Re-emergence

  1. To prevent the re-emergence of poliovirus in India, the ministry of health and family welfare is now targeting mobile and migratory population from neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  2. The government has already started the process of identifying children living with mobile and migratory families to prevent the spread of the virus.
  3. Health Ministry officials have prepared a database of children living near brick kilns, streets, tent houses and nomad families.

Still prevalent in the neighbourhood

  1. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 11 cases have been registered in 2018 in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  2. Since there is a possible movement of people from the countries to India, the Centre is continuing with the Pulse Polio campaign as a preventive measure despite being polio-free.

Polio incidence in India

  1. Polio is a highly infectious viral disease, which primarily affects young children.
  2. The virus is transmitted through person-to-person and spreads through the faecal-oral route or through contaminated water or food.
  3. It multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
  4. The last reported cases of wild polio in India were in West Bengal and Gujarat on 13 January 2011.
  5. On 27 March 2014, the WHO declared India a polio-free country, since no cases of wild polio had been reported for three consecutive years.
  6. Currently, two types of vaccines–oral polio vaccine and injectable polio vaccine–are being used in India to provide enhanced protection.
  7. The nation-wide polio campaigns are continued along with routine immunisation under initiatives such as Mission Indradhanush.
  8. So far, the government has been administering polio doses to children under five years through the door-to-door Pulse Polio campaign, the immunisation programme seeks to eliminate poliomyelitis (polio) in India
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