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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rumour mongers can’t be immune from action

VILLUPURAM : Collector R. Palanisamy has warned of criminal proceedings against those spreading rumours about pulse polio immunisation programme.

In a statement released here, Mr. Palanisamy said that certain vested interests elsewhere in the State had spread rumours about safety of the vaccination. Following the rumour, parents of 4,000 children in the 0-5 age group in Villupuram district, did not get their children vaccinated in the first phase of the programme on December 21, 2008.

Officials later approached the parents and dispelled myths about the vaccination, Mr. Palanisamy said. On an average, 102 children below the age of one died of natural causes in Tamil Nadu every day. The average deaths in Villupuram district was in the range of four to five a day. However, mischief mongers were wrongly attributing such deaths to polio vaccination, he said.

The district administration had decided to initiate criminal proceedings against those who were stumbling blocks to the programme, Mr. Palanisamy said.

For clarifications, people could call toll free number 1056 functioning round the clock.

The second phase of vaccination programme would be organised at 2,374 centres by involving as many as 9,440 volunteers on Sunday, Mr. Palanisamy said.

Special camps would be organised at bus stands, railway stations, brick kilns, stone quarries and at the habitations of nomadic tribes.

A mobile team would cover migrant population and travellers. Joint Directors of Health Krishnaraj and Geetha were making the arrangements , Mr. Palanisamy said.

Cuddalore Collector Rajendra Ratnoo has said that polio vaccine produced on the basis of the norms prescribed by the World Health Organisation was safe.

Getting an additional dose would not lead to any health problem. It would develop the immunity of the children, he said.

A total of 2,53,487 children in the 0-5 age group would be covered by the programme in Cuddalore district on Sunday.

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