The Government of India has been actively involved in polio eradication efforts through its comprehensive immunization campaigns and initiatives. India made significant progress in reducing polio cases and achieved a polio-free certification by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014. Here’s an overview of the polio eradication programs run by the Government of India up until that time:
1. Pulse Polio Immunization Campaigns: The Pulse Polio Immunization Campaigns were a key strategy in India’s polio eradication efforts. During these campaigns, healthcare workers and volunteers went door-to-door to administer oral polio vaccine (OPV) drops to children under the age of five. These campaigns were typically conducted multiple times a year, aiming to cover every child, especially in high-risk areas.
2. National Immunization Days (NIDs): The NIDs were part of the Pulse Polio Immunization Campaigns, where mass vaccination drives were conducted across the country. During NIDs, supplementary doses of OPV were administered to all children under five, irrespective of their previous vaccination status.
3. Routine Immunization: The Government of India also focused on integrating polio vaccination into routine immunization programs to ensure that every child received the recommended doses of polio vaccine during their infancy and early childhood.
4. Surveillance and Monitoring: A robust surveillance system was established to track and respond to any potential polio cases. This involved reporting and investigating cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) among children, as polio often presents as sudden paralysis. Rapid response teams were deployed to investigate and respond to any potential outbreaks.
5. Social Mobilization and Communication: Public awareness campaigns played a crucial role in educating communities about the importance of polio vaccination, dispelling myths and misconceptions, and encouraging participation in immunization programs.
6. High-Risk Areas: Efforts were intensified in regions with historically higher rates of polio transmission. Special attention was given to border areas, urban slums, and areas with migrant populations, where disease transmission was more likely.
7. International Partnerships: The Government of India collaborated with international organizations like WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide technical support, funding, and expertise for polio eradication efforts.
8. Research and Innovation: The government supported research and innovation to improve vaccination coverage, monitor progress, and address challenges related to polio eradication.
Please note that the information I provided is based on the situation up until September 2021. For the most current information about India’s polio eradication efforts beyond that date, I recommend checking with official sources such as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India or the World Health Organization.