President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Pulse Polio Programme for 2021 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, in the presence of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.
The Polio National Immunization Day, which is observed on the 31st January 2021, is also popularly known as Polio Ravivar.
Around 17 crore children of less than 5 years of age will be given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to sustain polio free status of the country.
The countrywide drive will be supported by about 24 lakh volunteers, 1.5 lakh supervisors and many Civil Society Organisations , WHO, UNICEF, Rotary etc. Healthcare workers will be visiting as many as 2 crore households to ensure that no child is left without the protection of the polio vaccine.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Before the start of the program, India had 60% caseload of Polio worldwide. With the last case of Polio reported in Howrah on 13th January, 2011, the country has been free of Polio for a decade now.”
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.