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Government has Set up a Special Committee to Curb Polio Cases

The Indian government has set up a special committee to check cases of polio that have more than doubled since 2005.//

Till the first week of August the country reported 155 cases, as against 66 last year. Most cases are from Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state.

"The committee comprising doctors, health workers and health ministry officials will work in collaboration with state governments and NGOs," Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss told IANS on the sidelines of a function on health tourism.

The committee will focus on Uttar Pradesh that has reported over 100 cases this year.

While 56 cases have been detected in Moradabad district, Muzaffarnagar and Baduan districts have reported 21 and 20 cases respectively. Aligarh, Mainpuri, Bulandshahr and Bareilly districts have also reported new cases.

"We have already spoken to the Uttar Pradesh government. We will try and explain the magnitude of the problem to the villagers and how they can administer polio drops to their kids," the minister said.

Experts say about 40 million children under five years need to be vaccinated in each round of the polio immunisation campaign.

Ramadoss said a special immunisation drive had been launched in Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Bihar. "I will inspect these areas within a month," he added.

David Heymann, WHO's special representative for polio eradication, said here last month that that India was responsible for most cases of the virus that were hitting the world.

Heymann said the Indian virus has hit five countries: Nepal, Bangladesh, Angola, Namibia and Congo.


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