NEW DELHI :
In order to sustain polio eradication drive from the country, government on Saturday launched Pulse Polio programme for 2019.
President of India Ram Nath Kovind, launched the program by administering polio drops to children less than five years old, at the Rahstrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.
More than 17 crore children of less than five years across the country will be given polio drops as part of the drive.
“Universal Immunization Programme is focusing to protect children from more diseases than ever before and has introduced several new vaccines like Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, Rotavirus vaccine, and Measles-Rubella vaccine in the recent past," said J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
“To provide additional protection to our children, Government has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine into its routine immunization program," Nadda added.
Health minister said that the government is making all efforts to protect children from more and more diseases and emphasized that all vaccines under the programme must reach every last child of the country.
“Along with Universal Immunization Programme of the country, we have also launched Mission Indradhanush to accelerate our goal to achieve more than 90% full immunization coverage. More than 3.39 crore children and 87 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated through Mission Indradhanush drives," Nadda said.
The government claimed that strengthening of immunization programme has contributed significantly to the decline of Infant Mortality Rate from 39 in 2014 to 32 per 1000 live births in 2017.
The polio eradication programme in India aims to protect children from the crippling disease by conducting two nationwide mass polio vaccination campaigns and two to three sub-national campaigns each year.
The last reported cases of wild polio in India were in West Bengal and Gujarat on 13 January 2011. On 27 March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared India a polio free country.