India celebrates six years polio free

Today we are proud to be celebrating the sixth anniversary of the last case of polio in India.

Children in a polio free India
Children in a polio free India. Photo: GPEI

Six years ago today, Rukhsar Khatoon from West Bengal became the last Indian child to be paralyzed by polio. Since that day, India has not experienced a single case of wild polio, paving the way for the South East Asia Region of the World Health Organization to be certified polio-free in 2014.

Once considered the toughest context in the world to eradicate polio, India achieved this feat through a relentless focus on reaching and immunizing every last child: it has since maintained high immunity to polio and very high quality disease surveillance, made the switch from trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine in its routine immunization system, and is working to transition its extensive polio eradication knowledge and assets to serve broader public health goals.

Sensitive disease surveillance and high immunity against polio remain important priorities for all countries until the remaining endemic countries stop polio for good.