Polio, The Gurugram health department has taken the decision to limit the pulse polio immunization drive to only areas where the vaccine is most needed. With most health care workers involved in Covid-19 duty. Polio is an extremely infectious viral disease that can cause paralysis and affects mainly children under the age of five. It mainly escalates through unhygienic practices. The pulse polio immunization usually combines setting up booths and regular house visits by approximately 15,000 health care workers in the districts. Due to the pandemic, around 13,000 workers are involved in surveillance and testing for the coronavirus disease Covid-19.
Polio: Only 2500 Health Care Workers Available To Vaccinate A Massive Amount Of Children
Health officials said that during this period, only 2500 health care workers will be engaged in the pulse polio drive to vaccinate 77,000 children in high-risk areas from September 20 to 22. Dr. Naresh Kumar Garg, Gurugram deputy civil surgeon said, “In the pre-coronavirus time, at least 350,000 children were covered, which has been reduced to 77,000 kids as most of the healthcare workers who are deployed for pulse polio drive are already involved in the surveillance and monitoring of Covid-19 patients,” In spite of the fact that there have been no cases of polio reported in the district since 2010 in the state, unsanitary practices continue to concern. “Gurugram is among the 13 high-risk districts of Haryana. It is, therefore, crucial to conduct a polio immunization drive. It cannot be held back due to the pandemic,” said Garg.
Steps Taken By UP Government And Union Ministry Of Health
Recently, the Uttar Pradesh government shelved its pulse polio inoculation drive citing the ongoing pandemic. And that its entrusted social health activist (ASHA), auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), and other health workers were currently exposed to Covid-19 patients. In April, the Union ministry of health and family welfare had announced guidelines on reopening Non-COVID essential services, including polio immunization. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that those at risk have to be given top priority. While catching up with the vaccination if services are postponed.
Polio drops To Be Given For 3 Consecutive Days
Dr. Virender Yadav, Gurugram chief medical officer, said, “At least 425 high-risk locations have been identified where pulse polio booths will be set up. Since staff is limited, the department has approached the deputy commissioner to get assistance from non-government organizations (NGOs) with volunteers. In these polio high-risk areas, the Covid-19 test will also continue with the help of different teams. Covid-19 testing will not be affected.” High-risk zones have been recognized under each Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC). These are mainly slum areas or small colonies occupied by the migrant population. The inoculation drive will go on for three days. On September 20, booth activity will take place. While on the second day, health care workers will do house-to-house visits. They will give drops to infants and children under five years of age. On September 22, children, who could not be reached out on the first two days, will be covered.