Millennium Post

India runs high risk of importing polio from Afghan, Pakistan: Govt

In a reply to Parliament, Health Minister JP Nadda also said that India has offered to host technical missions from such polio-endemic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan to observe the national immunisation day exercises held here as part of the anti-polio campaign. “Yes, India runs a high risk of importing the polio virus from its neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Nadda said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

He said that, according to WHO data, these are the only two countries worldwide that have persistent transmission due to wild polio virus in the 2013-14 period and “remain endemic” to the disease.

“Afghanistan has reported 28 polio cases and Pakistan 306 cases during 2014 as per the latest report,” Nadda said. Regarding the country’s bid to assist in efforts to combat polio, Nadda said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in his SAARC speech in Nepal in November last year expressed India’s support in terms of ensuring monitoring and surveillance of polio-free countries and providing vaccines where it might reappear. “The government offered its assistance through the Ministry of External Affairs for technical missions to visit India from polio-endemic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan to observe National Immunisation days/Sub-national Immunisation days for polio campaigns,” he said.

‘Female, infant foeticide rising’

The government admitted that there has been an increase in cases of female and infant foeticide across the country. “Yes. A total of 132 cases, 210 cases and 221 cases were reported under foeticide and a total of 63, 81 and 82 cases were reported under infanticide during 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively,” Health Minister J P Nadda told Lok Sabha in a written reply. He said that some of the reasons are “son-preference, belief that it is only the son who can perform the last rites, that lineage and inheritance runs through male line”.

Survey shows poor state of biomedical gear at public health centres

A survey conducted in five states of the country has revealed that between 30 to 63 per cent of biomedical equipments at public health facilities are dysfunctional, government informed Lok Sabha on Friday.  In a reply to the House, Health Minister JP Nadda said that the Centre has recently provided a model Request for Proposal document to states for engaging an agency for providing timely and comprehensive maintenance of medical equipment.

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