Our Bureau

Hyderabad, May 9

ANDHRA Pradesh is going for yet another polio immunisation campaign on May 15.

This time around officials are trying to cover each and every child in the State in order not to repeat an unpleasant experience in 2002 when 21 cases were reported after two successful polio-free years.

If any State reports no polio case in three successive years, it would get the polio-free tag. Andhra Pradesh was about to get that tag when a few cases were reported in some districts. This, however, was due to migration of some families from western Uttar Pradesh to Karnataka. The virus soon spread to five districts of Andhra Pradesh, ending the successful run.

This time around, officials have decided not to take any chance.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Mr C.B.S. Venkata Ramana, Commissioner of Family Welfare Department, said though the situation was similar to that in 2002 there was now a chance to script a different outcome.

The idea was to cover every single child in the State in order to protect children in Andhra Pradesh from the polio virus from other States.

The officials ruled out using injections as they proved to be expensive and time-consuming. The oral vaccination route was found to be useful both in terms of cost and time. "We are able to cover a region in a single day using oral drops, while injections would take three to four days," they said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 10, 2005)
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