Once considered the hardest place to eradicate polio, India celebrates today three years since its last case.
This unprecedented progress against polio will pave the way for polio-free certification of the entire South East Asia Region of the World Health Organization in end March 2014. A high-level celebration is planned for 11 February.
This is a monumental milestone for India, which until 2009 accounted for more than half the world’s polio incidence with 741 cases of polio paralysis.
Experts had often believed India would be the last country to stop polio in view of the high population density, hygiene, sanitation and health conditions, which presented major challenges to eliminating the disease.
However, the strong commitment of the Government of India, the seamless partnership comprising the Government, Rotary, WHO and UNICEF, and above all the tireless hard work of millions of frontline workers – the vaccinators, social mobilizers and community and health workers –made the dream of a polio free country come true.
On this third anniversary, we want to recognize the importance of India’s achievement while highlighting the power of vaccines and encouraging continued political and financial support for polio eradication.
Thanks to all those who have contributed to this! Keep up the good work!
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Photo Essay - History of Polio In India
In late 1970s, up to 200,000 children in India were paralyzed or killed by polio every year. Since 2011, there has been none. Once considered the hardest place to eradicate polio, India celebrates today three years since its last case. This unprecedented progress against polio will pave the way for polio-free certification of the entire South East Asia Region of the World Health Organization in end March 2014.
We take a look at key highlights in the fight against the disease in the last decade and half.
Did you know that during the last year alone, nearly 2.3 million vaccinators visited 209 million houses and immunized nearly 172 million children?
And around 8 million of these children were immunized at railway stations, inside running trains, at the bus stands, in market areas, brick kilns and construction sites in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Mumbai alone.
Reaching Every Last Child
Every last child in #India had to be reached with two drops of the oral polio vaccine - all 172-million of them - over and over again. It was a formidable task, but one the Government of India, and its partners, including #UNICEF, #WHO and #Rotary International have achieved.
Now India can celebrate three years without any new #polio cases. This film tracks the journey of oral polio vaccine being transported by boat across the Kosi River, to reach the children of a remote village on the floodplains. It shows vaccinators and social mobilizers hard at work on the borders between India and Nepal; and at a brick kilns, a busy railway station, a slum and the largest cattle fair in Asia
The Last Child