Threat of polio virus travelling to India from neighbours: Govt

New Delhi: The government on Friday said there was a threat of polio virus travelling to India from neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan which has led to intensification of surveillance in border states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.

"The threat of polio continues as long as there is polio virus circulation in any part of the world," Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Sudip Bandyopadhyay said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

The Minister said surveillance for polio has been intensified through active case search in the health facilities in Amritsar and other nearby districts and blocks of Punjab, Rajasthan, J&K and Gujarat that share a border with Pakistan.

"In addition, continuous vaccination of children is carried out at Attari train station and Wagah border (in Punjab), Munabao train station (in Rajasthan) and Kaman PHC and Chak da Bagh (in J&K)," Bandyopadhyay said.

To another question on unsafe injections in the country, the Minister said that as per World Health Organisation (WHO) report published in 2004, 62.9 per cent of injections administered in India and 74 per cent injections administered to newborn babies in the immunisation programmes at vaccination centres were unsafe.

Bandyopadhyay said a study entitled "Injection Practices in India" was conducted in India from 2002 to 2004 and based on its report, the government had introduced auto disabled (AD) syringes in the immunisation programme since 2005, which gets locked after single use, thereby preventing its reuse.

He said no death has been reported due to unsafe injection administration under immunisation programme.