Dalai Lama inaugurates polio vaccination drive

Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel laureate the Dalai Lama kicked off polio eradication drive here on Sunday.

The leader launched the programme by administering anti-polio drops to infants.

Addressing the gathering on this occasion Dalai Lama said: “We can notice here some young people with polio problem. They cannot move. So this preventive measure is very important for protection of their (infants) good life and normal life.”

Polio, which is incurable, leads to irreversible paralysis. Death occurs in about 5-10 percent of paralyzed patients when their breathing muscles are immobilized.

India”s efforts to become polio-free nation met with a setback in recent years.

Over 100,000 vaccinators will immunize more than 20 million children against polio in Bihar state – one of two states in India where polio remains endemic.

India is one of just six countries globally where the disease is still endemic.

In Bihar nearly 60 of every 1,000 children do not live to celebrate their first birthday, mainly because nearly nine out of 10 children in the state are not immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

UNICEF is also working with the government in making systemic changes to ensure that routine immunization becomes exactly that – routine. (ANI)

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