Conditions

WHO Reports India Polio-Free for Entire Year

A health worker marks the finger of a child after administering a polio vaccine at a polio booth in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh January 10, 2010.
A health worker marks the finger of a child after administering a polio vaccine. Ajay Verma/Reuters

According to the World Health Organization, India, once the world’s epicenter for polio transmission, has made it an entire year without a single case.

The number of polio-endemic countries is now down to three - Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

"India’s success is arguably its greatest public health achievement and has provided a global opportunity to push for the end of polio," said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.

According to WHO, India has to keep up its sensitive surveillance and high childhood immunity to guard against any recurrence – in 2011 poliovirus from Pakistan re-infected China.

Each year, more than 170 million children under the age of 5 are vaccinated in two national immunization campaigns in India, and up to 70 million children in the highest-risk areas are vaccinated multiple times in additional special campaigns. 

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