PCI awarded over $7 million sub-grant from World Vision, Inc.
DELHI, India—October, 2012. PCI accepted a sub grant from World Vision Inc. and its funder, USAID, to continue and expand the activities of CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) in India. Only 67 cases of polio have been reported in 2012, presenting the chance to end polio within the CGPP focus countries: Angola, India, and Ethiopia, where transmission has reportedly stopped. Still, high risk of re-importation of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) from neighboring countries remains as a result of poor immunization coverage, population density, poor sanitation, and mobile populations. Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance rates, greater than 2 per 100,000 in children under 15, are reported from the three countries, however, there remain areas where surveillance is insufficient.
The polio program will run over five years, continuing in 12 Districts of Utar Pradesh state (UP). PCI will work closely with the other CGPP partners, ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and Catholic Relief Services. In case of a new outbreak of WPV, CGPP India is prepared to respond anywhere in the country as it did in West Bengal from 2011-2012. Out of a total estimated population of 33.6 million in the districts covered by CGPP, the project will reach 13.4 million children under 15, with 4.2 million of them under 5 years of age. With a large number of newborns in India each year, the amount of susceptible children is great. The immunization program in India is one of the largest in the world in terms of quantity of vaccine used, number of beneficiaries, geographical spread and diversity of areas covered. Survey results of CGPP activity in these areas show significant progress toward a sustainable, polio free Utar Pradesh.
In partnership with CORE Group Polio Project, PCI is enhancing community awareness and mobilization to increase participation in prevention and immunization interventions in the Utar Pradesh. PCI recruits and trains community mobilization coordinators, assists in organizing and facilitating health camps where vaccines are provided by the Government of India as well as promote hygienic practices to reduce new infections, especially in children under 5 years of age. The health camps also include malaria prevention, vitamin A supplementation, de-worming treatment, and provide access to physicians, nurses, and auxiliary nurse midwives, thus offering a more holistic approach to improving the health outcomes of vulnerable communities.