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polio immunization in chennai

CHENNAI: The annual polio immunization drive will take place in Chennai on Sunday (January 19). Children aged under five years will be administered polio drops free of cost. Oral drops will be administered in 1,325 centres, including 25 mobile units and 183 centres in the suburban areas, from 7am to 5pm on Sunday. There will be booths at corporation's primary health centres, government hospitals, medical dispensaries, government schools, corporation schools, anganwadi centres, railway stations and the Koyambedu bus depot. Around 5,300 people, including volunteers from Rotary, Red Cross and other voluntary organisations, have been roped in for the drive. The Chennai Corporation has appealed to parents to take their children, aged up to five years, to one of the polio immunization booths and get the drops administered. The corporation has also requested the parents to ensure that the child is given a mark on his or her third finger with black dye after the drops are administered, as a sign that the child has been vaccinated. The civic body, which is carrying out the drive in two phases (phase one on January 19 and phase 2 in February), aims at reaching out to more than six lakh children this year. Surveys have shown that there are around 5.70 lakh children under five years of age, but there are a huge number of migrant labourers' children whose names may not be on any record. Polio is a virus that enters through the mouth or throat but eventually mixes with the blood stream and affects the central nervous system resulting in the person not being able to walk. The virus does not have a cure but can be prevented with a vaccination. It has been three years since India reported its last polio case. However, experts say the country should continue with the polio immunization drive as there is a risk of the disease re-entering the country from neighbouring countries.

18.01.2014. 19:32

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