The Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) that is administered to children in the age group of 0-5 years during pulse polio campaigns should persist in order to defend "ourselves" from the epidemic, according to Dr I Temsu Longchar, surveillance medical officer, World Health Organisation.
Addressing a press conference organised by Rotary Club of Dimapur here on Thursday, Dr Temsu said currently Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan were the major polio affected countries in the world.
In a power point presentation, he said in India 2008,556 cases were reported (73 type 1 and 483 type 3), while the first case of 2009 was reported from Uttar Pradesh (type 1).
He said type 1 polio is still prevalent in western Uttar Pradesh and added that two virulent polio viruses are still present in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, from where families travel in search of work. This is necessitating the total protection of the children through the annual pulse polio programme, he added.
There were three types of polio viruses - P1, P2 and P3 - in the world at present, among which P1 is still spreading and dangerous.
He pointed out that at present the key target was to deal with P1 virus while informing that the OPV which is administered in the state is a trivalent vaccine.
He disclosed that there is no report on immunization from the districts of Mon, Kiphire and Peren so far.
In addition to strengthening routine immunization, special immunization coverage in missed areas and high risk areas is the need of the hour, Dr Temsu said. He said though no polio case is reported in Nagaland, people need to participate in the immunization campaign so that "we can defend ourselves from the epidemic."
According to District Immunization Officer (DIO), Dimapur Dr R Thielie oral polio drops whcih was conducted on January 11administered about 58,420 children in the district.
The immunization programme would be carried out in all the district hospitals, primary health centres, sub-centres and thorough hawkers.
The polio immunisation drive in Dimpur district will be carried in 561 polio vaccination booths with the involvement of 2,244 team members. The vaccine would be administered on February 8.