India’s Battle Against Polio

It has been a phenomenal three year since India’s last reported polio case. This is seen as one of India’s greatest health successes as a result of its expansive inoculation programme, with India’s health minister calling it a “monumental milestone”.

Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan are three countries where there is still cases of Polio, but India was removed from the list of polio-endemic countries in 2012. The graph below shows how cases of polio in India have declined since the 1980s:

polio

The confidence of this success has led India with a new goal of eradicating measles in the coming years. Health in the country is improving at an astonishing rate with 741 cases of polio in India in 2009 declining down to just a single case in .

Previous health success in India includes the eradication of Smallpox in the 1980s after a similar inoculation process. Approximately 170m children under 5 years old had been given the vaccination and a similar process had been carried out for polio, and is expected in the fight against measles.

However, there are fears by some experts that where there is war and fighting polio may come back into existence. For example, in Syria and Somalia polio levels were the highest out of any other country. The interesting thing about this is, these two countries had been free from polio. Other experts fear that there is also a chance of polio spreading from Pakistan into India if there is a lack of care.

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