Polio eradication in India has been possible only because of unwavering political will at the highest levels, adequate financial resources and technological innovations, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Monday after India completed three years without any polio case.
Azad said the role of the millions of volunteers and vaccinators was also important to make India polio-free and make it an ideal nation for three other countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria – where polio still prevails.
To commemorate the occasion, several monuments all over the country were illuminated by Rotary International, an organisation working for humanitarian services.
“It is a huge victory for India and its people. From being one of the most polio-infected regions a couple of years ago to completely becoming a polio-free nation, the campaign in India has come a long way,” said Deepak Kapur, chairman of Rotary India National Polio Plus Committee.
He told IANS that though India has become polio-free, all precautions are needed to be taken till the time the world is declared polio-free.
India reported the last polio case in Howrah, West Bengal, Jan 13, 2011. Since then, it has not reported any case of polio.
India will be officially certified as a polio-free nation by the World Health Organisation for the Entire Southeast Asia Region (WHO-SEAR) Feb 11.