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Help of Minority Leaders Needed to Curb Polio: Ramadoss

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Tuesday said the government was keen to interact with leaders of religious minorities to help curb the polio outbreak in India.//

According to him, a sense of "complacency" in the polio immunisation campaigns in Uttar Pradesh last year had led to the growth of the disease in the state this year.

"We had held a number of discussions with minority leaders of Uttar Pradesh and the result was quite visible in the December round of the immunisation campaign," Ramadoss told reporters after meeting with a delegation of Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

India has reported 597 cases of polio this year as against 66 in 2005.

Of the total cases this year, 90 percent are from Uttar Pradesh alone.

The minister said discussions were important to dispel rumours about the credibility of the polio vaccine.

"We want to put the final nail in the coffin of the virus. We hope polio will be eradicated in the next three years time," he added.

Ramadoss said he would visit Uttar Pradesh in January to asses the situation and discuss with minority leaders about the campaign and their support to make it a success.

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