Hyderabad/Amaravati: Pulse polio programme began in the Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Sunday to cover 91 lakh children below five years.
Children of 0-5 years were administered the drops at thousands of booths set up in all 33 districts of Telangana and 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The programme was launched by Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender in Hyderabad while it was rolled out in Andhra Pradesh by Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Health authorities in both the states made elaborate arrangements for the programme at pulse polio booths and transit points. They also took all precautionary measures in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
The vaccinators would be provided surgical masks, hand sanitisers and disposable gloves at all pulse polio booths.
On Monday and Tuesday, the health workers will go door to door to immunize the children who miss the drops. In Hyderabad, the programme would continue till Wednesday.
Officials said special emphasis was being laid on immunizing children of high risk groups such as nomads, migrants, urban slum dwellers and brick kiln workers.
In Telangana, a total of 38,31,907 children in the 0-5 years age group are targetted to be covered during the pulse polio programme.
Health Minister Eatala Rajender, who administered the drops at Shameerpet, said 23,331 polio booths were set up while 877 mobile teams were also pressed into service.
Around 50.14 lakh doses of bOPV vaccine doses have been supplied to districts.
In Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan launched the pulse polio immunization programme by administering polio drops to children aged below five years at Raj Bhavan. Speaking on the occasion, he said the campaign has been launched with an aim to eliminate poliomyelitis (polio) in the country by vaccinating all children under the age of five years.
Harichandan said around 52.72 lakh children of less than five years of age are targeted for administration of polio drops in the state, as part of the drive to sustain polio eradication from the country.
He noted that there has been not a single case of polio reported in the country since 2011.
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the programme by administering polio drops to children at his official residence in Amaravati.
Deputy Chief Minister Alla Krishna Srinivas, Health Principal Secretary Anil Kumar Singhal, Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar and other officials were present on the occasion.