London: A top British University is planning to undertake a new research study looking at ethics, policy and practice concerning polio immunisation in India. University of Birmingham is working with Ravenshaw University in the eastern Indian state of Orissa on the new research project, a press release by the University said.
Although India has been removed from the list of polio endemic countries, misconceptions still remain around polio vaccination within the country, the release said.
The two-year project will gather relevant empirical evidence about attitudes to polio vaccination campaigns in Orissa from three key groups - parents, community workers and those involved in planning and implementing the campaign, such as government officials, it said.
While no cases of polio have been officially reported recently in the state, the research team will study more remote tribal areas where facilities are less developed, the release said.
The study will outline and systematically explore the ethical issues that arise in relation to vaccination in general, as well as the issues raised by the empirical material gathered as part of the project, it said.
The project aims to initiate a long-standing collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Ravenshaw in terms of both teaching and research in ethics and history relating to health, it added.
The first of a series of interdisciplinary research workshops will be held in Bhubaneswar in early December to widen the areas of discussion and seek topics for further joint work in the future.
"A lot of people in India do not opt for mass vaccination programmes for a number of reasons. We want to explore these reasons and bring about an attitudinal change", Angus Dawson, Professor of Public Health Ethics from the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham said.