President launches countrywide Pulse Polio Program for 2018

More than 17 crore children will be given polio drops

We need to keep up the vigil and maintain the population immunity for sustaining the polio-free status of the country : J P Nadda

 New Delhi, January 27, 2018 : The Hon. President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, launched the Pulse Polio programme for 2018 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old, at the Rahstrapati Bhawan, in the presence of the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda and Ministers of State (Health) Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Smt. Anupriya Patel, here today. The Hon. President administered the polio drops on the eve of the National Immunization Day, which is observed tomorrow. More than 17 crore children of less than five years across the country will be given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to sustain polio eradication from the country.

Speaking at the function, the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri J P Nadda said, “We need to remain vigilant and maintain the population immunity and sensitive surveillance till global polio eradication happens as poliovirus is still circulating in other parts of the world which may reinfect us.”  Shri Nadda further stated that the Government is making all the possible efforts to protect children from more and more diseases. “It is important that all vaccines under the programme reache to every last child of our country,” he added. In order to mitigate the risk of poliovirus importation, the immunity against polio infection is maintained through National and Sub-National Polio rounds along with sustained high quality polio surveillance. To provide additional protection to our children, Government of India has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunization program, Shri Nadda stated.

Shri J P Nadda pointed out that Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is focusing on to protect children from more diseases than ever before and has introduced several new vaccines like Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, Rotavirus vaccine, and Measles-Rubella in the recent past. “To further strengthen and accomplish our goals we have launched Mission Indradhanush and encouraged by its success, we have recently intensified the mission in October, 2017 to achieve more than 90% full immunization coverage by 2018,” Shri Nadda elaborated.

Shri Nadda further informed that strengthening of immunization programme has significantly contributed to the decline of Infant Mortality Rate from 39 in 2014 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016 (as per SRS reports).


The Health Minister also appreciated the efforts of State Governments and the supporting organizations like WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International etc., for strengthening the efforts of the Government not only for polio programme but also for other initiatives in immunization. He also applauded the efforts of the thousands of volunteers, frontline workers, health officials across thestatesfor their tireless efforts in keeping the country polio-free.

Also present at the function were Smt. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), senior officers of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and representatives of development partners.

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