Polio experts commend India for maintaining polio-free status

Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) chaired the 27th Meeting of the Polio India Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) to review the country program activities and make recommendations. The expert member group concluded that the country is on the right track. The experts commended the strong leadership of the Government of India, as well as the ownership of the state governments for maintaining polio-free status for more than 7 years and ensuring that every child is vaccinated against the disease.

The last case of polio in India was reported in January 2011. The program has ensured adequate protection of children through both mass polio vaccination campaigns and childhood immunization.

The government is ensuring that every child in India receives at least three doses of oral and two doses of injectable polio vaccine during infancy. This is an invaluable investment for child health in India. The nationwide polio campaigns should continue along with routine immunization strengthening initiatives such as Mission Indradhanush, Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, and Extended-Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.

The group of experts appreciated the efforts of India in using both oral and injectable polio vaccines and recommends that this be continued so that no child in India gets paralyzed ever again. The expert group noted that more than 23 lakh vaccinators are mobilized to support every polio mass campaign during which 17 crores children get the oral polio drops.

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