Polio community mobilisers in Ghaziabad feted for top performance
By Gitanjali Chaturvedi
Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh: Friday 27th July was a special day for the 600 Community Mobilization Coordinators (CMCs) of the Ghaziabad sub-region working with the Social Mobilization Network (SMNet) in Uttar Pradesh.
This sub-region consists of the districts of Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and GB Nagar that border Delhi and was awarded a trophy for topping amongst all sub-regions on two critical social mobilization indicators: highest booth coverage in CMC areas and the lowest percentage of missed children. This performance was judged on the basis of data collected over two SIA rounds in April and May 2007.
To celebrate the occasion the CMCs thronged to IMS Engineering College where an entertainment programme was organized especially for them. They danced as Vineet, a finalist at the Indian Idol sang popular tunes and they laughed at the jokes of Rajan Srivastava, a popular stand up comedian.
CMCs- The Social Movers
CMCs work as social mobilizers at the community level, counselling families to immunize their children against polio. They prepare elaborate lists of children under the age of five, track expectant mothers and newborns; liaise with religious leaders and other influencers in their area. With a polio round every month since January 2007, the task of these CMCs becomes even more crucial in communicating to parents and caregivers the need to repeatedly and continuously immunize their children.
Because of the unstinting efforts of the multi-agency SMNet in UP that has over 5,000 CMCs in 41 districts, transmission of type 1 poliovirus is at its lowest. The last case of P1 was recorded in May in Fatehpur. Clearly, it was a time to congratulate these frontline workers who have contributed to making a big difference in the programme.
As an incentive to CMCs who work tirelessly round-after-round, four were promoted to the supervisory position of Block Mobilization Coordinator (BMC). BMCs coordinate social mobilization activities for polio immunization at the block level, supervising community mobilizers and networking with religious leaders and influencers and government and health functionaries in the block to which they are assigned.
Excited with her promotion, Bushra Bano said that she would not rest until polio is eradicated. Chanchal, another CMC said that Bushra’s promotion has motivated her to continue to work hard and aspire to become a BMC as well.
The utsav was inaugurated by Dr. Nimal Hettiaratchy, UNICEF State Representative for UP and attended by Mr. Ajay Kumar Shukla, District Magistrate Ghaziabad, Mr. Chndrakant, Chief Development Officer, and Prof. IC Agarwal, Director IMS Engineering College.
Also present were health functionaries from the sub-region – Dr. K.K. Tyagi, District Health Officer, Ghaziabad and Dr. Ram Ratan, District Information Officer, Bulandshahr. Dr. Sujit Kumar Jain, Surveillance Medical Officer NPSP commended the work of CMCs in ensuring vaccine acceptance among communities highest at risk to polio and added that they are critical in contributing to the success of the programme.