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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 453-457

Awareness about pulse polio immunization among the general population in Delhi

Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi - 110 002., India

Correspondence Address:
M M Singh
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi - 110 002.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12026509

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How to cite this article:
Singh M M, Bano T, Dabas P, Mehra M. Awareness about pulse polio immunization among the general population in Delhi. Indian J Med Sci 2001;55:453-7

How to cite this URL:
Singh M M, Bano T, Dabas P, Mehra M. Awareness about pulse polio immunization among the general population in Delhi. Indian J Med Sci [serial online] 2001 [cited 2016 May 24];55:453-7. Available from:

India is gearing up for polio eradication by adopting special immunizzation drive such as pulse polio immunization (PPI) since 1995 [1] besides routine immunization. As a final phase the PPI has been intensified & covered West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi & Rajasthan in 2000 - 2001. The sheath anchor of the programme lies in active community participation by way of creating mass awareness & motivating the people for immunizing the target children (below five years) during the PPI days. Several channels of communication have been utilized for disseminating the information such as television, radio, newspaper, local announce­ments using public address system besides home visits by health workers, anganwadi work­ers, local volunteers etc. The effectiveness of this programme can be known by assessing the awareness of the people regard­ing polio and the activities for polio eradication. Lessons learnt from such a programme would enable programme managers and policy makers in formulating strategic plans for future eradi­cation of other diseases. The present study aims at assessing awareness of the people regard­ing polio and PPI activities.

 ¤ Material and Methods Top

The study was conducted on 24th September, 2000 in three centres of Delhi selected purposively. Exit interviews of all the accompanying persons aged above 12 years visiting the PPI centres were done to collect the desired information. Qualified medical doctors posted in the centres collected the data using a pre-tested structured questionnaire. The questinnaire included items on age, sex of respondents, awareness on the nature of vaccine given, source of information, utility of the vac­cination, consequences of polio, signs, symptoms of polio and next dates of intensive PPI (IPPI).

The data was analyzed using Epi - Info version 6.04 software package. [2] Chi-square test was used to find outsignificant differences between the groups for categorical vari­able and "p" value < 0.05 was considered significant.

 ¤ Results Top

The study subjects in­cluded 41 males and 141 fe­males. The age was ranging from 13 years to 65 years [Table 1]. Majority of them (92.9%) knew that the vaccine given on the IPPI day was of polio. The source of information regarding polio and IPPI were television (32.9 %), relatives or friends or neighbours (24.2 %), health staff (20.9 %), posters and leaflets (15.9 %), anganwadi workers (13.7 %), loudspeakers (11.5%), school children (4.9 %), volunteers (3.3 %), radio (2.2 %) and newspaper (1.6 %).

Out of 182 respondents 43 (23.6 %) claimed to know the number of visits required for IPPI during 2000 - 2001 of which only 22 (12.1 %) were correct. Only 18.1 % knew the next IPPI day. Predominantly, males (31.7 %) could tell the correct dates of subsequent IPPI days as com­pared to females (14.2 %) (p = 0.01). A large number of people knew that polio leads to paraly­sis of legs (70.3 %) and IPPI would help in preventing polio in children (86.2 %). Few (30.7 %) opined that polio can be cured and 21.9 % presumed that polio could cause death. There was no significant difference between males and females regarding these aspects of polio.

Further probing on the usefulness of polio vaccination during IPPI days revealed that 86.2 % were aware of prevent­ing polio. But only 55 % opined that it would help preventing polio in other children, eradicate polio by 3.3 % and 2.2 % be­lieved that it would prevent other diseases besides polio.

Regarding knowledge on the identification features of po­lio, 70.3 % knew about paralysis of limbs. Other symptoms cited were fever (14.3 %), loose motions (3.8 %), convulsions (2.2­%), muscle wasting (1.6 %) and loss of consciousness (1.1 %). Only 25.3 % did not have any idea about the signs and symptoms of polio.

 ¤ Discussion Top

The study revealed that a large number of people were aware about the polio vaccine administered on IPPI day. This is possible by the sustained efforts of creating awareness through multiple communication channels. Television seems to be an effective media for communi­cating with people in urban area because of its universal accessi­bility. A study on IPPI coverage evaluation in urban, rural and slum areas of Chandigarh also reported that television was the commonest source of informa­tion (52.9%) followed by health workers (20.8 %), anganwadi workers (5.5 %), friends (5.4 %) etc. [3] Other channels favouring dissemination of knowledge was given by relatives, friends and neighbours. This shows the interest generated by the people in protecting their children against polio. Involvement of school children and local volunteers also helped in creating awareness and motivating people to partici­pate in the programme. It is interesting to note that not a single channel of communication is very effective in generating mass awareness but it requires the combined efforts of multiple channels. A study on pulse polio immunization coverage evaluation in rural area of Agra showed that the main source of information was from anganwadi workers (43.5 %) followed by auxiliary nurse midwife (26.9 %), school teachers (11.4 %), television (9.2 %) etc. [4]

On comparing the know­ledge between males and females, it was observed that males were better aware about the subsequent dates of IPPI. However, the awareness on other aspects of polio such as preventability with vaccine, curability, probability of causing death and causation of limb paralysis were similar in either gender. This shows universal accessibility of information on poliomyelitis. It is important since males play an important role in decision - making regarding utili­zation of the available services of health care. Males can be empowered by creating awareness and they can come forward to actively participate in similar programmes to show soli­darity in sharing responsibilities with their female counterparts.

Analysis of the study reveals that only few people were aware about the dates of IPPI days during 2000-2001 despite concerned efforts of the government in awareness creation. This could be either because of people's callous attitudes or ignorance of the IPPI activities. Under such circum­stances it is necessary to rein­force by repititive announcements and advertisements till the activities are fully completed.

The study shows an overall partially effective mass awareness campaign against poliomyelitis despite the combined efforts of various channels of communication. The limitation of the study is that the level of reported awareness pertains to the people coming for IPPI and it does not represent the whole community.

 ¤ Summary Top

A study was conducted in three intensive pulse polio immunization (IPPI) centres in Delhi on 24th September, 2000 to assess the awareness about poliomyelitis and the IPPI programme. A structured ques­tionnaire was used to elicit the information from 182 accompa­nying persons (41 males and 141 females) by qualified medical doctors. Majority (92.9 %) of the respondents knew that the administered drops were polio vaccine. Major sources of infor­mation were television (32.9 %), relatives or friends (24.2 %), health staff (20.9 %), poster or leaflets (15.9 %). Only 18.1 knew the next IPPI day. Out of 43 claiming to know the number of subsequent IPPI days during 2000, only 22 could tell correctly. A large number of respondents (86.2 %) knew that IPPI would help in preventing polio in children. Paralysis of limbs as a clinical feature of polio was known to 70.3%, 45.6% knew that polio cannot be cured and 21.9% perceived that polio could also lead to death. The nationwide intensive aware­ness campaign for polio eradi­cation was found to be partially effective in disseminating the information.

 ¤ References Top

1.Expanded Programme on Immunization. National immuni­sation days, India. Weekly Epid Rec 1996: 71 : 169 - 71.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Dean AG, Dean JA. Coulombier D et al. Epi Info. version 6 : A word processing. database. and statistics program for public health on IBM - compatible microcomputers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., 1995.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Swami HM, Thakur JS, Bhatia SPS. Bhatia V, Bhan VK Cover­age evaluation survey of pulse polio immunization in Chandigarh. Indian J Com Med 2000; 25: 83 -5.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Nandan 0, Mishra SK, Gupta GK, Gupta S, Maheshwari BB. Pulse polio immunization cover­age evaluation in a rural area of Agra district. Indian J Com Med 1996: 21 : 34 - 6.  Back to cited text no. 4    


  [Table 1]

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