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India's immunization programme needs to be more robust: UNICEF

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

As India celebrates eradication of polio, Unicef today said it needs to make it complete immunisation system for children much more robust and accessible and tackle the status of women if it wants to really address the issue of mortality among children.

UNICEF said routine immunisation for children in parts of the country is still very very low and there are vast disparities even within one state.

"Routine immunisation in some of the areas is still very very low. I visited some districts in south UP where it is below 20 percent. So that 's quite serious," Louis-Georges Arsenault, Unicef representative to India, said. He added, though, that national average is "not very bad".

He also cautioned that there should be no let-up in polio immunisation programme, which he termed an "amazing accomplishment", as the danger of polio virus being transmitted into India from affected parts of the world remains.

Stressing that the risk is as high as it has never been for polio cases to be imported into India, he said polio transmission has not eradicated globally as it was planned. In fact, there are more pockets this year than they were a year ago with the crisis in the Middle East and in parts of Africa, he said.

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First Published: Tue, February 11 2014. 23:09 IST