The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad today announced that not a single case of wild polio has been reported from any part of the country since the past three years. Shri Azad said that 36 months ago the last case was reported on 13th Jan, 2011 when a two year old girl suffered polio paralysis in Howrah district of West Bengal. Until 2009, India accounted for more than half the world’s polio incidence. While 741 cases reported in 2009, 42 in 2010 and just one case in 2011.
The Health Minister further stated that it is a matter of great pride for all of us. He said that this monumental milestone was made possible due to unwavering political will at the highest levels, commitment of adequate financial resources, technological innovations like the bivalent vaccine and tireless efforts of millions of workers, including more than 23 lakh vaccinators and volunteers, and more than 1.5 lakh supervisors. The official announcement of a polio free nation will be made on 11 February 2014, he stated.
The Health Minister said that India’s unprecedented progress against polio will pave the way for polio free certification of the entire South East Asia Region of WHO in the first quarter of 2014.