Another Sunday (July 4th); another Pulse Polio in many parts of India.
So what is this Pulse Polio & how does it differ from our routine vaccination?
Before we begin, a small story. North Nigeria decided last year to stop Polio vaccination because they felt that Polio drops were a western conspiracy to reduce fertility & spread HIV in Nigerian children! Sounds unbelievable right, but it is true! (Interestingly similar complaints have been heard in some parts of UP & Bihar-areas with the maximum cases of Polio in India at present). Stopping Polio vaccination has lead to a rapid rise in the number of polio cases in Nigeria & surrounding African countries!
What lessons does this hold for us? We need to aggressively give all the kids (less than 5 years) as many polio drops as suggested by the local health authorities to finish Polio once & for all. Just like finished off Small pox 30 years ago.
Pulse Polio Facts:
1. Every child (newborn to 5 years) needs pulse polio! Irrespective of whether they have been given routine polio drops or not.
2. Pulse polio protects the whole area from Polio, not just your child. This means that by giving it sincerely the whole country will become Polio free!
3. Mild cold, fever & loose motions should not be used as an excuse to avoid Polio drops
4. Pulse Polio is to be given according to your local schedule. This means that not all campaigns would involve your child, for example in the present round Punjab & Chandigarh were not involved in polio vaccination. Ask your pediatrician or contact us if you are living in Chandigarh or its surroundings.
Pulse Polio Myths
1. Pulse Polio does not cause any disease, neither HIV, nor serility, nor POLIO. It is the same polio drops that we give during routine immunization, but given to all children in an area on 1 specific date.
2. Pulse Polio cannot be given later if missed. This is because the logic behind Pulse Polio is to remove the Polio virus from circulation & this is only possible by giving the vaccine to the entire population on a single day. You may take the dose within the next 2-3 days but not later.
For more information on baby care issues, visit Charak clinics