Around 17 crore children across the country will be given polio drops as part of the Narendra Modi government's drive to sustain polio eradication. On Saturday, President Pranab Mukherjee launched the programme for 2017 by administering polio drops to children at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Speaking at the function on the eve of the National Immunisation Day, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda stated that polio-free certification of the entire South-East Asia Region of WHO, including India, is a huge accomplishment in the history of public health.
He added that as the risk of importation still persists from three countries -- Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria -- where poliovirus is still circulating, the need still persists for India to maintain population immunity and sensitive surveillance. This is maintained through national and sub-national polio rounds along with sustained high-quality polio surveillance.
The Health Minister added: 'We are conducting continuous polio vaccination at the international borders with India. A travel advisory has also been issued to vaccinate all travellers, who are travelling between India and eight other countries."
Nadda also pointed out that India has reduced under-five mortality rate from 75 per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 45 per 1,000 in 2014, as per recent SRS estimates.