Polio free India

“UN officials tell me that hopefully by early next year we shall be able to announce thatIndiais finally free of polio,” wrote an ecstatic millennium star and UNICEF brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan middle of last month.

His dream of a billion plus polio free nation has just crossed its biggest ever hurdle. India, which kicked off in 1995 a mammoth drive to make country polio free, would on Friday complete a full year without any polio incident being reported in the country.
For the record,India reported its last case of polio on January 13 last year, from Kolkata inWest Bengal. Polio endemic states like Uttar Pradesh andBihar too have recorded a constant drop in the polio cases from 2008 onwards with zero case recorded in the year 2011 in these two states.

A total of 305 cases of polio were recorded from Uttar Pradesh during 2008 but the figure dropped drastically to 10 in 2010 and during 2011 the state went polio incident free.

Dr A.P.Dubey, Head of department of Pediatrics, Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Delhi, says, “The Pulse Polio Programme has been very effective in minimizing the polio cases. We have been able to curtail this menace only because of constant and excellent efforts of the government of India.”
Sounding a caution for young parents, Dr Vandana Kent, senior pediatrician at Rockland Hospital advises that, “Once couples become parents, they should be aware about the vaccination schedules and they should take their respective children to get them immunized on time against this deadly disease.”

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