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70 lakh children given vaccine

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, APRIL 10. An estimated 70 lakh children all over the State were today administered polio drops as part of the pulse polio campaign.

The Health Minister, Thalavai Sundaram, inaugurated the programme at the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children here this morning, administering oral drops to a few infants.

Later talking to presspersons, he said the programme was being effectively implemented in the State and no fresh case was reported last year.

The State established 40,000 immunisation booths in government hospitals, primary health centres, health sub-centres, noon meal centres, schools and other places. Transit booths were set up at railway stations, bus stands, temples and tourist spots to cater for the floating population.

Mobile teams were deployed to administer the vaccine to children in remote and inaccessible areas.

The Minister said about two lakh personnel, drawn from government and non-governmental organisations were involved in the exercise.

Private medical practitioners were requested to keep their clinics.

The Minister stressed the need to administer the vaccine to all children below five despite their previous immunisation status.

All children should be given two drops in the first round and again in the second round.

Only supplementary doses

Moreover, drops administered during the pulse polio campaign were not an alternative to the routine immunisation; they were only supplementary doses.

He handed over the first copy of a brochure, `Indru Oru thagaval', to the Health Secretary, Sheela Rani Chunkath, who said the Government took into account the special needs of the tsunami-hit regions and despatched teams on a house-to-house visit.

To ensure that no child was left out, mobile clinics combed identified streets in urban areas and administered the drops.

Besides this, a massive publicity campaign was launched over the past few days to create awareness of the programme.

The next campaign will be taken up on May 15.

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