India Marks Three Years Since Last Reported Polio Case; WHO Prepares To Formally Announce Country As Polio-Free

News outlets highlight India’s recognition of not recording a polio case for three years.

Associated Press/Washington Post: India marks 3 years since last polio case reported
“India marked three years Monday since its last reported polio case, putting the country on course to being formally declared free of the disease later this year…” (1/13).

Al Jazeera: India marks three years without polio
“India is marking three years without any new recorded cases of polio — a feat that is expected to prompt the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the country polio-free in March…” (1/13).

BBC News: India hails polio-free ‘milestone’
“…It is seen as confirmation of one of India’s biggest public health successes, achieved through a massive and sustained immunization program. India’s health minister hailed it as a ‘monumental milestone’…” (1/13).

The Guardian: 1.2 billion reasons to celebrate: India set to be polio-free
“…[I]t’s been a long road to get here. With poor sanitation, densely populated areas and large numbers of people living in extreme poverty, northern states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were the ‘perfect storm’ when it came to the spread of polio. And without the vital collaboration between the Indian government and the global polio eradication initiative — a partnership among Rotary International, UNICEF, WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — this may not have been possible…” (Sheldrick, 1/13).

LiveMint: India to get polio-free status amid rise in acute flaccid paralysis cases
“…The last case of polio in the country was reported on 13 January, 2011, from West Bengal. Following the ‘polio-free’ status, India will be certified as a polio-free nation by March, leaving Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria as the remaining polio endemic countries…” (Krishnan, 1/13).

New York Times’ India Ink: A Conversation With: Deepak Kapur, Chairman of India National PolioPlus Committee
“…Deepak Kapur, the chairman of the Rotary International’s India National PolioPlus Committee, has been at the helm of the campaign since 2002. He spoke with India Ink about the end of polio in India and next steps for the country to ensure that the disease doesn’t return…” (Chabbra, 1/13).

Reuters: India breaks free of polio in boost to global immunization drive
“… ‘We give huge credit to the government … It makes us extremely proud and highly responsible for having helped the government to reach this incredible achievement,’ India’s WHO representative, Nata Menabde, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Menabde said the WHO would officially declare India as polio-free by the end of March, when the legal process for certification was completed…” (Bhalla, 1/13).

The Telegraph: Landmark moment as India to be declared ‘polio-free’
“…Now the campaign will turn to Nigeria where the number of cases were halved last year, Afghanistan where infections fell from 30 in 2012 to eleven last year, and Pakistan, the final frontier…” (Nelson, 1/12).

Wall Street Journal: India Manages to Free Itself of Polio
“…The success with polio has also emboldened India to announce that it will now try to eliminate measles as well. At the same time, India faces significant public health challenges such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In epidemiology, elimination of a disease means wiping it out regionally, while eradication gets rid of it globally…” (Naik/Lalwani, 1/12).

Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time: India Conquers Polio, But Problems Remain
“…Still, for many affected by the disease in India, its lasting effects are crippling and shouldn’t be forgotten in the glow of this initial victory, experts say. As recently as 2009, India reported about half of the polio cases confirmed globally that year…” (Dutta, 1/13).

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