What now for polio free India?

Is the question asked in the latest edition of India Polio Communications Update.

20120813_India
Despite India having stopped polio transmission, every effort is still being made to identify and reach populations on the move with oral polio vaccine at railway stations, bus stops and other transit sites. UNICEF/Moria Dawa

13 August 2012 – After many experts  predicted India would be the last country to stop polio, it is understandable why the interruption of transmission in the country has been called, ‘perhaps the most important milestone ever on the long road to eradication’. It is also understandable that the key question is: what next?

The latest volume of India Polio Communications Update, produced by UNICEF, helps answer part of this question. According to India’s Expert Advisory Group, India must maintain ‘eternal vigilance’ against polio and the report from their latest meeting outlines some strategies to achieve this. We also learn about the efforts being made to protect India’s polio free status through guarding against importations, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Other highlights include an article on the benefit SMNet is having on general public health; Indian cricketing legend and polio survivor Bhagwat Chandrasekhar’s visit to the Third Test Match in Perth to commemorate the anniversary of the last polio case in India; and new UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, Karin Hulshof’s return to Bihar, a place she finds transformed from her first visit ten years ago and using the widely accepted polio programme as the foundation on which to build  other health services.

Read the full issue [pdf]


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