Maharashtra children made to consume hand sanitizer instead of polio vaccine

In a case of negligence from the Yavatmal region in Maharashtra, 12 children were given drops of hand sanitiser in place of polio drops. The children aged between one to five were hospitalized immediately and are under treatment informed Yavatmal District Council Chief Executive Officer Shrikrishna Panchal, reported LiveMint.

The health officer, Anganwadi worker and Asha worker who were responsible for the drive have been suspended immediately. The district collector has also ordered an inquiry into the incident which took place on the Polio National Immunisation Day, observed on January 31.

“Twelve children, under five years of age, were given hand sanitiser drops instead of polio vaccine in Yavatmal. They were admitted to the hospital and are doing fine now. A health worker, doctor and an ASHA worker will be suspended. An investigation is underway,” Panchal said.

This comes after President Ram Nath Kovind launched the National Polio Immunisation Drive for 2021 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old at Rashtrapati Bhawan on January 30.

According to the Union Ministry of Health, India has been free of polio for a decade, with the last case of wild poliovirus reported on 13 January 2011. The country continues to remain vigilant to prevent re-entry of the poliovirus from neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where wild poliovirus continues to cause disease.