What's New Press Releases from the Embassy
Japan-India Relations
Press Release No.6


- Japanese support to help realize Zero Polio Transmission in the north-eastern states -

Embargo: 11:00 hrs.

New Delhi, 29 May 2003

1.         The Government of Japan agreed today to extend to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) a grant assistance of 831 million yen (approximately equivalent to Rs.33.5 crores) for the Intensified Pulse Polio Immunization (IPPI), a mega campaign to eradicate poliomyelitis from India.  Notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between H.E. Mr. Akira Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to India, and Ms. Maria Calivis, Representative, UNICEF office in India, at a ceremony held in the Embassy of Japan today.  Representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, WHO and JICA were also present at the signing ceremony.

2.         The Japanese assistance has been earmarked to be utilized for IPPI campaign to be undertaken by the Government of India during FY 2003 in the north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal.  As the campaign against polio enters a crucial stage this year, the Japanese grant assistance too has been increased by 11 per cent over the assistance given last year.  This would help meeting the requirement of 71.6 million doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to be administered to children below 5 years on the designated IPPI National Immunization Days. 

3.         The Pulse Polio Immunization campaign was launched by the Government of India with the first National Immunization Day (NID) observed in December 1995.  The strategy of conducting successive rounds of NIDs and sub-NIDs over the last eight years has made it possible for India to see a drastic reduction in polio cases in the country.  However, contrary to common expectations, in certain parts of the country a resurgence of polio cases was also observed last year.  But, the results of PPI campaign supported by the Government of Japan have largely been successful in the states in the north-eastern India.  Now all efforts are being made to maximize polio immunization to achieve the objective of zero Polio transmission by the end of 2003 in areas supported by Japanese assistance.

4.         PPI campaign in India is one of the largest campaigns of its kind in the world, both in terms of the size of population covered and the scale of mobilization of workers involved.  As a major partner in this massive child health care programme in India, the Government of Japan has been providing support to PPI campaign in India since 1996.  With the grant assistance agreed today, Japanese assistance to PPI campaign in India would total up to over 5.5 billion yen (approximately Rs.225 crores).