Three polio cases last year, State has 40 % immunization level among children
Today was Polio Sunday. It was targeted to reach more than one crore children under five years of age in the state of Madhya Pradesh. All arrangement were made as confirmed by state press release yesterday. Polio vaccine, vaccinators for Polio booths,mobile teams had been arranged for the same purpose. Except press advertisements, few posters and one or two auto having polio banners, one could not see any awareness activity being undertaken in Bhopal to propagate the message urging parents to bring the children for polio immunisation. Amitabh’s TV advertisements were seen on TV but they were released by the Health Department of Government of India. Polio booths were also not very visible.
Unlike last years when there used to be social mobilization efforts undertaken by various NGOs in the state. Hundreds of NGOs used to support state’s effort. Parents, civil society organizations, young people and even school children used to come forward to support mobilization drive, which used to give this day a festival look. Even media used to be mobilized. All that was missing this time, except few efforts.
A parent of two year old at Raisen road area did not even knew that today was polio day. People at Trilanga, Gulmohar area of Bhopal did not knew where to go for polio immunization or where the polio booth was set up in their area. In case of old city few knew about polio immunization day. Informally speaking to parents present in numbers at Bhopal mela, except one none of them had got their children immunized.
Madhya Pradesh had three polio cases last year in year 2006 after a gap of one and half years. Children are getting missed during immunization rounds and is one of the reason for the upsurge of polio cases in the state. If this low enthusiasm persists in the capital city what will be the condition in rural areas, where chance of missing children is more. As per the latest NFHS III survey data state has only 40 % level of immunization among children. Inspite of this hardly any extra effort was made by the state’ health department to mobilize parents and children.