To prevent return of polio virus, government to target migratory population from nearby countries

India has been declared polio-free, but the large number of migrants coming into the country from Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh means that the re-emergence of the polio virus in India is a strong threat.

To ensure that this doesn't happen, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is targeting mobile and migratory population from these neighbouring countries.

It is identifying children living with such families to prevent the spread of the virus. So far, the government has been giving polio doses to children under five years through the door-to-door Pulse Polio campaign. This programme seeks to eliminate poliomyelitis in India.

The government has identified 40,000 habitats so far in the last six months. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 11 cases have been registered in 2018 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since, there is a possible movement of people from these countries to India, the government is continuing with the Pulse Polio campaign as a preventive measure.

A database of children living near brick kilns, streets, tent houses and nomad families has been prepared.

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted through person-to-person and spreads through the faeces, or through contaminated water or food. It multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.

On 27 March 2014, the WHO declared India a polio-free country, since no cases of wild polio had been reported for three consecutive years.

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