In collaboration with the government of India's health department across the country, the municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai and Rotary International, the Aditya Birla Group has been supporting the polio eradication drive. A special programme "Championing the Polio Eradication Drive" was held today at Mumbai's Raj Bhavan. The Honourable Governor of Maharashtra, Mr Sankaranarayan and Mrs Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development flagged off the drive, administering polio drops to children.
Speaking on the occasion Mrs Birla said, "For over two years now, we have not reported a single case of polio in India. It's a very happy situation. The world, at one time, looked upon India as the epicenter of polio. To give you the context, before the polio eradication drive was launched 15 years ago, 2,00,000 children would be crippled every year! It has been a long and arduous journey. But we have managed it and there is therefore much to cheer.
Collectively, the government machinery, Rotary International and the Aditya Birla Group work to ensure that every single child is immunised. Every year more than 170 million children are given the pulse polio drops."
Mrs Birla said, "We, at the Aditya Birla Group, have and continue to work with single-minded focus in supporting Rotary International and the government in the polio eradication drive. Our various establishments are actively involved, and our teams ensure that every child takes the pulse polio drops. We set up booths in Mumbai, including several at railway stations and also undertook door-to-door campaigns. In the last three years, our teams have helped administer polio drops to over 18 million children through thousands of booths all over the country.
Two years and not a single new case of polio is a message of great hope. But let me add a word of caution. Polio still exists in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. The virus can still travel to India as people move from one country to another. We have to be very cautious and pro-active to ensure that the virus is not allowed to re-enter our country."
Mrs. Birla added a word of caution averring that there was no room for complacency. "In India, we have to continue the momentum. In fact, the World Health Organization has advised India to maintain sensitive surveillance and ensure high childhood immunity against the wild polio virus. This is vital to ensure that no strain of polio is imported to our country, until eradication is attained worldwide. Another polio-free year and we hope the WHO will declare our country polio-free."
Dr. Pragnya RamGroup Executive President, Corporate Communications & CSRAditya Birla Management Corporation Private LimitedAditya Birla Centre, 1st Floor, 'C' WingS.K. Ahire Marg, WorliMumbai 400 030.
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