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Pulse polio to cover over 1 cr. children

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, APRIL 4. An intensified pulse polio immunisation drive will be taken up in the State on April 10 and May 15 to cover all children below five years of age. More than one crore children are likely to be given drops in each round. A total of 63,000 booths will be put up during one round. Transit-point polio booths will be operated at all railway stations, bus stands, ferry points and tourist spots.

Although no polio case was reported in the State since May last year the threat exists as transmission of the virus continues in the country.

Single case

The State was able to stop its spread, restricting it to only one case in a village in Srikakulam district, which found its way from Karnataka. It entered the State most probably due to migration from western UP, officials of the State, UNICEF, Rotary and the National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP) told a workshop here on Monday. They said the situation today in Andhra Pradesh was similar to that in 2002, with nil cases, when there were 1,600 cases in different parts of the country.

`Polio-free State'

The officials called for efforts to convert one year of no cases to two and then three. Three years of no cases would result in declaring the State officially polio-free. R. Gopalakrishna Rao, Joint Director, Child Health and Immunisation, Michele Saint-Lot, State representative of UNICEF, Pawan Murthy, NPSP regional coordinator, Varda Reddy of Rotary International, and S. Sarkar, WHO consultant, spoke.

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