West Bengal records second polio-free year
India missed being declared polio-free in 2011 after an 18-year-old girl from Panchala in Howrah was found to be carrying the P1 virus, which is known to cause massive outbreaks, the Times of India reports.
A new polio immunization campaign began on January 20 with a goal of immunizing more than 91 million children below the age of five. Vaccinations will be carried out from 31,110 booths and in 340 clinics affiliated with the Indian Medical Association and the Indian Pediatric Association.
Additionally, a team of nearly 65,000 health workers will conduct door-to-door visits to ensure that no child misses a vaccination. A special emphasis has been placed on areas falling under higher risk categories, including 51 blocks in the districts and Borough 15 under Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
"Though no polio cases gave been reported in the state in the past two years, there can be no place for complacent," State Minister for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya said, according to the Times of India. We want to ensure West Bengal polio free in the years to come. We are thankful to organizations like IMA, IPA and UNICEF for extending support."
West Bengal accounted for eight of the 42 polio cases reported in India in 2010, with seven reported in Murshidabad and one in Birbhum.