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Pulse Polio Immunization Program

 Introductory Note On Pulse Polio Programme 2004-05 with Proposed Newer Initiatives-an appraisal

26th June, 2005 and 7th August, 2005.  


What is Polio Eradication & its Strategy

Humans are the only reservoir / Carrier of Polio Virus called Wild Polio Virus. It has three types I, II, III. It is type II which is the first one to get eliminated, followed by type III & then type I Polio Virus from the human environment. Elimination of type II virus generally indicates a good / Satisfactory Routine Immunization System / Coverage in an area. The country has already eliminated Type-II Virus two years ago.

The Strategy for elimination  / Eradication is by having an equally strong system of 4 components. These are: Strong Routine Immunization, well Conducted Pulse Polio Rounds, Selective /Focal Mop-up rounds & a Sensitive & Responsive AFP System.

Since 1994-when Delhi initiated Pulse Polio Programme the state has seen significant success. From an average of 500 cases annually in 1994-1995, in Delhi only 2 Polio cases have been seen in the year 2004 so far. At national level also there has been a significant gain in reducing polio cases to 97 in all till 30th November 2004, from about more than 10000 cases annually till about 1995-96. 

The Challenge this year: Resurgence of Polio in certain parts of the country, notably UP in the year 2002, was ascribed to the eradication efforts being afflicted with poor quality Pulse Polio strategy & Poor routine immunization in those states. In Delhi the Situation on Polio Programme & Routine Immunization is relatively comfortable. In addition, our AFP surveillance System & the quality of Mop-up rounds conducted in the state so far have been quite satisfactory. But despite this the plan in Delhi Pulse Polio Programme this year is to ensure a very high quality Pulse Polio & to improve the routine Immunization still further, by using the Pulse Polio booths as a window of opportunity.

The following steps are being incorporated this time as newer initiative:

I.  Reaching the maximum No. of children < 5years of age through NID/SNID booths approach – through strengthening the booth activity.

A total of about 7500 Pulse Polio booths are planned in the state spread over 70 assemblies including the DMA (Delhi Medical Association) & IAP booths (Indian Academy of Paediatrics ) .

Each of these booths will be manned by 3-4 staff members headed by a doctor / Nurse. The presence of doctor at the booth is likely to ensure punctuality, quality of the booth activity & process, proper & responsible handling of parental anxieties & queries, supervision & distribution of the IEC on other routine vaccine & related information to parents, seeking support of volunteers in getting unimmunized / left out children mobilised to the booth from adjoining nearby colonies and last but not the least continuation of booth activity till the end of the day’s time at 4 PM.  

Expectation from the Government Departments: the Employees of various Deptt. of the Govt. could be advised to reach their own areas Pulse Polio Booths located near their own places of residence in the morning at 8:00 AM to help in mobilizing children to the NID booth in cooperation with local RWA/ group housing societies, political workers, parents etc. in true Bhagidari spirit.

The employees could also help by providing their own personal vehicular support to the medical officer I/c at the booth, if & when needed in a given exigent situation, on the Pulse Polio day.

II. Using the pulse polio booths as platform to educate the parents on routine immunization  & why it is important.

All infants below 1 year are supposed to be receiving a birth dose of ‘OPV’ called ‘zero’ dose followed by 3 doses at 6, 10 & 14 weeks of age alongside DPT 3 doses.  Then, 1st booster of OPV is at 1 ½ year along with DPT, followed again with 2nd booster at 4 ½ to 5 years along with DT.  Now it has been proved conclusively that pulse polio doses are complementary to the routine doses and are not a substitute to routine polio vaccine.  The constant migration of population, the newer birth cohort in the state and the left over about 18-20% of children (who are partly covered or unimmunized) need to be covered effectively.

To sustain and improve the routine coverage of OPV it is quite an opportunity on the Pulse Polio  day to apprise the parents about the need of routine immunization..

There are 70 assembly segments in Delhi and a total of about 7500 booths, which are spread all over the city with an average of 50-100 booths per assembly. 

There are about 700 fixed/ regular health facilities in Delhi providing routine immunization all through the year.  On an average 10 such facility exist per assembly.  Parents are advised to approach the nearest facility in the subsequent weeks after Pulse Polio day for completion of left out/ dropped out vaccine of OPV and also measles, DPT, BCG etc.  In Delhi even MMR, HBV, Typhoid vaccines are available as the state’s own initiative which will also get a boost through this activity.

Likely Benefits

  •  Awareness  amongst community about other childhood vaccines and their utility should improve.

  •  Even misconception amongst people that pulse polio is the “Be all and end all” of all vaccines should get removed to a large extent.

  •  Previous unimmunized children/ dropped out children will be protected individually and as a community. The circulation of wild polio virus load will diminish still further and faster.

  •  Even the new importation of virus from adjoining states will be effectively warded off.

  • Why see a crippled child afflicted with polio virus when we can root out the disease by simply giving the polio drops to all children under 5 years of age.





  Parents are requested to get their children under five years protected with oral polio vaccine drops on the following dates from any polio booth near your house.

 26th June 2005

7th August 2005

  •    Even sick and newborn children are to be given Polio drops.

  •   These drops are in addition to routine immunization doses.

  •   These drops are completely safe and are of highest quality. 

  •   Repeated doses provide additional protection.

  •   Routine polio vaccination at birth, 6weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age is also essential.

  •   Polio Eradication efforts will continue till we achieve the “Goal of Polio Eradication”.

  •   Socially spirited individuals & organizations are invited to actively participate in this programme.


For any clarification / query, please contact Dr. C.M. Khanijo - Officer on Special Duty, Pulse Polio Cell, Directorate of Family Welfare, Govt. of Delhi, Malkaganj, Delhi – 110007, Tel : 23855838.    

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