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India for the Second Year reported No Fresh Polio Cases

Jan 13, 2013 16:44 IST

India for the continuous second year reported no fresh cases of Polio. One more year of success with zero fresh cases of polio, would win India a status of polio free nation, in 2014.  

In 2009, India shared about a half of the polio cases witnessed by the world. But the success achieved since then, can be termed as the biggest public health success story of the century.

The report submitted by the National Certification Committee of India to the 11-member Regional Certification Commission of WHOs South East Asia Region is under review. Continuous three years absence of Polio that is caused due to the wild polio virus (WPV) coupled with the intense surveillance would help India in being declared the Polio-free Nation in 2014.

Surveillance Program and System

In 1995, a Pulse Polio Immunization (PPI) Program was initiated in India with the aim of eradicating it completely from the country. The program started under the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Under this program, every child below five years in age is given two doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), in the month of January and December every year and it needs to be continued till Polio is eradicated completely. To achieve 100 percent success and meet the requirements of unreached children programs like social mobilization and planned mop-up operations, were undertaken.

Programs under Plan for Prevention

The Government’s plan is to keep up intensive campaigns to prevent polio from re-emerging. The campaigns would mainly take care of the areas of high-risk. To make people aware about the same, the Government has planned two nationwide campaigns and four sub-national campaigns in 2013. The main target of the campaigners would be the migrant population and the blocks of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and every new born in these areas would be vaccinated through a mapping program. In India, there exist more than 35000 health facility centres that respond to the Acute Flaccid Paralysis as a part of surveillance program.

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