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Health Ministers Meeting on Polio Eradication Today

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss will preside over a meeting of ten State health ministers today, which will review the polio eradication process.

The meeting has been convened in the wake of reports that the incidence of polio has exacerbated in the last two years.

During the meeting, the minister will review the situation in the country and discussed the future course of action.

Health Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh will update both Ramadoss and his Ministry about the steps they have taken so far to eradicate the virus, and what further help they require from the Centre.

Out of the 60 cases reported this year, 36 cases were reported in UP, 15 in Bihar, three in Uttarakhand, two in Andhra Pradesh and one each in Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Last year, 674 polio cases were reported, while in 2005, 66 cases were reported.

India presently stands next to Nigeria in the number of polio cases reported across the world this year till April 17. A total of 111 polio cases were reported globally this year till April 17, out of which 54 cases were reported from Nigeria, while India registered 31 cases.

The polio drive has been intensified following suggestions of the India Expert Advisory Group on Polio in December 2006.

The ministry plans to control the virus from circulating during its peak season of September-November. Last year, the first round of polio vaccination had started in April, while this year, the campaign was launched in January itself.

Stepping up their campaign, the government launched three polio rounds in the month of April in some of the high-risk states in which an estimated 89 million children were vaccinated in that month alone.


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