After Polio, India to eliminate Measles, Tetanus

Updated: Feb 26, 2012, 20:23 PM IST

New Delhi: Laying emphasis on strengthening of routine immunisation, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said the lessons learnt from success of polio campaign could help eliminate measles-related child deaths and neonatal tetanus from the country.

In his valedictory address at the two-day Polio Summit here today, Azad said there has to be continued vigil and effective emergency preparedness as India cannot afford to let
its guards now on the polio virus.

"...Emboldened by our progress in polio, we are confident that we can achieve elimination of measles related child deaths. We also now wish to completely eliminate neonatal tetanus in India and are moving towards it.

Some of our learnings and lessons from the Polio programme could prove to be extremely useful in accomplishing these tasks," Azad said.

The Minister laid stress on immunisation and said "strengthening routine immunisation is an imperative if we wish to sustain our gains in polio and guard ourselves against
both distant and international importations."

He said, "We have declared 2012, the year of the intensification of Routine Immunisation. We intend to accelerate routine immunisation activities from 1st April
itself through special immunisation drives, with a special focus on 207 districts recording low routine immunization coverage."

The minister also reaffirmed India`s commitment to funding the Polio programme and said it willing to lend all possible support for global eradication of polio.