ENCOURAGING: 2010 Was the Year of Lowest-Ever Recorded Polio Cases

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India has moved closer to eradication of polio, recording only 42 cases in 2010 compared to 741 in the previous year.

Till February this year, only a single case has been reported from Howrah district in West Bengal, according to the India National Polioplus Committee of Rotary International.

A special polio immunisation campaign was launched recently in Howrah, Kolkata, Murshidabad and adjoining areas by administering oral polio vaccine to the children there.

Sources said that more immunisation campaigns were lined up in these polio high-risk areas as part of rapid response and an aggressive strategy to arrest polio incidence in the state.

"Multiple polio vaccination rounds are needed to rapidly boost immunity of children against polio, interrupt polio virus transmission in West Bengal," they said.

Committee chairman Deepak Kapur said that Rotary International along with partners, including the West Bengal government, is employing best resources and manpower available to eradicate polio from the state.

Quoting UNICEF (India)'s chief of polio eradication programme Lieven Desomer, the sources said the UNICEF had expanded partnership with NGO networks in the state to bolster community participation for polio eradication efforts.

"Protecting children against polio and eradicating the crippling disease is a top priority," he said.

Nearly 1,62,500 vaccinators are expected to immunise 93 lakh children of up to age five during the week-long polio campaign.

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