India has something to be very proud of. This year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the country Polio free!
According to the Hindu, Margaret Chan,the Director-General of WHO has termed it as, “the greatest public health achievement”. The eradication of Polio in the country means that great strides have been taken in improving the lives of India’s children by taking this debilitating disease out of the equation.
The declaration follows from a two year period without any case of the disease occurring in India. This is due to large-scale prevention campaigns through vaccination. The success has been a joint effort between the Indian government and other stakeholders such as Rotary International, the WHO as well as community leaders and health professionals throughout the country.
The fight against Polio in India, however, is not over and the government have committed themselves to rapid response measures against the import of the disease into India from other countries, largely through the migration of vulnerable populations, where the biggest risk of the reintroduction of the disease into the country is possible. This is especially important given that two of the three remaining Polio endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, are nearby to India (the last Polio endemic country on the list is Nigeria).
For more important information on the disease, visit the World Health Organisation (WHO) website here.
By Carrie Byrne/ RESET editorial