It’s actually great to hear that India has become a polio free country. On 25 February 2012, India was officially removed from the list of polio-endemic countries by World Health Organization (WHO).
In 2009, India accounted for nearly 741 polio cases, more than anywhere else in the world. In 2010, only 42 cases were reported. Whereas, in 2011 only one case was recorded, making a remarkable progress from 1.5 lakh cases in 1985.
This news was announced by Health and Family Planning Minister of India at the Polio Summit 2012 in New Delhi. He addressed the crowd saying that they had received a letter from the United Nations in which it was stated that WHO has taken India’s name off the list of polio-endemic countries as India successfully completed an entire year without an incidence of polio. However, India has to remain polio free for two more years before it is declared polio-free by the WHO.
Taking this achievement as an inspiration, the Health minister emphasized on strengthening of routine immunization. He added saying that government took some lessons from the success of polio campaigns and is planning to implement the same to eliminate measles-related child deaths and neonatal tetanus from the country.
In the same summit, 2012 has been declared as the year of the intensification of Routine Immunization. And the government is planning to accelerate immunization activities from 1st April through special immunization drives with a special focus on 207 districts recording low routine immunization coverage.