Today, India marks three years since its last case of wild polio
India marks three years since its last case of wild polio on 13 January 2014, a landmark achievement for global public health and the worldwide effort to eradicate polio.
The three-year milestone carries official significance: the Regional Certification Committee is expected to convene in March and evaluate data from the entire Southeast Asia Region in order to certify the region as polio-free. While Acumen is not actively invested in any efforts to eradicate polio, this is an important milestone in the health and wellness across the region.
Experts once considered India the most technically difficult place to end polio.
- As recently as 2009, India was home to nearly half the world’s polio cases.
- High population density, migrant populations and poor sanitation presented exceptional challenges to eliminating the disease.
With commitment from all levels, India launched a comprehensive polio effort and built a robust health infrastructure to eliminate the disease. The effort included:
- A surveillance network of more than 33,000 reporting sites
- An army of 2.3 million vaccinators deployed during national immunization days
- Strategies to reach children with vaccines, even in the country’s hardest-to-reach areas, resulting in delivery of 900 million doses of oral polio vaccine in 2011 alone