Hyderabad: In a shocking revelation, Telangana found its name at the bottom of the list among states providing polio vaccines to children. According to a report by the ministry of child and family welfare, of the 36 states and Union territories, Telangana was in the 35th position.
In 2019-20, Tamil Nadu, with a staggering 148 per cent, was at the top for the most number of polio drops administered. Sikkim booked the last spot with a mere 53.60 per cent, while Telangana was just one spot ahead at 54.30 per cent. As the Central government is releasing funds and supplying the polio drops, the states have failed to implement the policy, said the Centre.
Telangana had administered 95.98 per cent polio drops in 2018-19, while the figure was 88.96 per cent in 2017-18.
Under the universal immunisation programme, children from tribal areas and other remote regions are given polio drops for free. Under the schemes Mission Indradhanush, Intensified Mission Indradhanush, and Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, an exclusive program is organised to give polio drops to children. A child should get the following vaccines: BCG, oral polio vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, pentavalent vaccine, inactive poliovirus vaccine, measles rubella vaccine, pertussis tetanus, and rotavirus vaccines. The main aim behind these vaccines is to prevent a child from these diseases.
The report further said the Telangana department of medical health has a poor vaccination record. It said only 80.3 per cent polio drops were given to children from April 2019 to January 2020. Only 81.9 per cent children got measles drops. The BCG vaccine was given to 83.6 per cent children, while the figures for Vitamin-A drops was 15 to 36 per cent.
Although the state says that polio drops are administered by going to each household and schools, the Centre says that it is not following the practice. The non-availability of polio drops in government hospitals can also be a reason, said medical experts.