Yavatmal, February 2, 2021
In a shocking incident in Yavatmal Maharashtra, 12 children were given hand sanitizer drops instead of polio drops. In a statement given by a spokesperson, it is, a relief to note that all the children are fine and doing well.
Two officials and a health worker will be suspended on grounds of negligence. An ASHA worker too will be suspended on account of this incident.
Information related to the above was released by Shrikrishna Panchal, Yavatmal District Council Chief Officer.
The children were admitted to the Yavatmal hospital and are currently fine.
An investigation is being conducted into the incident to ascertain further details on how and why it occurred and the involvement of those concerned.
On January 30, 2021, The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind launched the National Polio Immunisation Drive. As part of this drive, a symbolic activity of giving polio drops to children who were under five was carried out at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The incident in Yavatmal coming after such a noble and national initiative is a big slur on the campaign.
In January 2014, India was declared polio–free. The pulse polio campaign in which children were given polio drops was a key factor in weeding out this dreaded disease from India. The polio-free declaration was made after observing the country for 3 years. There were zero cases declared in the country in those three years. The last case detected and reported in India of the wild poliovirus was on January 13, in 2011.
The Union Health Ministry in India as well as senior health officials still remain cautious and observant for a re-entry of the poliovirus. This is extremely important since our neighboring countries Pakistan and Afghanistan are still not polio-free and continue to be in the grip of this dreaded disease.