My good friend, the humble house to house vaccinator

Kamath, Sagarika and Kamath, Rajesh and D’Souza, Brayal Carry (2017) My good friend, the humble house to house vaccinator. Pakistan Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 11 (2). pp. 807-808. ISSN 1996-7195

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The corresponding author served with the WHO between March 2011 and July 2013 in polio eradicationas an Acute Flaccid Paralysis(AFP) Surveillance Medical Officer(SMO) inSupaul district of Bihar state of India.Going by experience and official data,thispart of India is among the most impoverished areas in the world.The publichealthcare system is rudimentary and grossly inadequate.The polio eradicationprogram is one of the few bright spots in terms of operational efficiency. Thechallenges to mass immunisation included poor infrastructure(in terms ofroads, electricity, and trained manpower),widespreadilliteracy,superstition,chronic poverty,malnutrition and extremes of weather.Supaul,with a population of 2.2 million,had about 1800 vaccinators inapproximately 900 two-woman teams. The money that was paid to them wasofficially dubbed an honorarium, which might seem to imply that the recipientwas never in any real need of it.But that was obviously not the case. A vexingissue that was faced all through was that of delayed payments to vaccinatorsand supervisors,which had a negative impact on the morale of the vaccinators and their supervisors. Arriving at trainings to purvey dismal attendance anddisappointed faces was a most unpleasant task for the corresponding author.India was certified polio free bythe WHO in January 2014.A good part of the credit for that goes to our very good friend,the humble vaccinator,the single most valuable human asset in theentire Global Polio Eradication Initiative. We salute her indomitable spirit.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Departments at MU > Public Health
Depositing User: KMC Library
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2017 04:28
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2017 04:28

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