WHO declares India polio-free!

WHO declares India polio-free! An incredible feat for a nation once the polio epicenter with 200,000 cases in 1988. As recently as 2009, India accounted for half of all cases in the world, but infections plummeted to 42 in 2010 and none in the last 12 months. The Indian government has spent $2 billion over the last 10-15 years to eradicate this crippling disease, which strikes children under the age of 5. However, 3 other countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) have reported a massive increase in new polio cases.

More: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/WHO-takes-off-India-from-polio-list/articleshow/12038508.cms

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148 Responses to WHO declares India polio-free!

  1. Lalit Arora says:

    great question rajni

  2. Javed Shaikh says:

    Awesome Job Done..

    Well, I last month read in the Reader’s Digest Article that India was then 99% Polio Free, and hoped that It will be free soon – Very Happy For This News…

  3. I still remember getting my shots when I a wee child.

  4. Ah, some much needed good news

  5. Jim Douglas says:

    Lalit Arora It wasn’t a question (Who?); it was a statement (WHO = World Health Organization): http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2012/polio_20120113/en/ 🙂

  6. Rajini Rao says:

    The real credit goes to tens of thousands of volunteers who traveled into the most remote corners of India to vaccinate children.

  7. amit saini says:

    I think, this time INDIA achieve some thing good. And also feel good when Indians who are living abroad show their concern. THANKS!!

  8. Brian Kemper says:

    I think Bill Gates says it best: “I congratulate the Government of India, Prime Minister Singh, Union Health Minister Azad, the Chief Ministers – especially of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal – and the millions of individuals who have contributed to this success. India’s story illustrates the possibility of tremendous progress even in the face of difficult economic times, a challenging environment and competing development needs. Partnerships and innovation are key to saving lives and creating economic opportunity for people living in poverty throughout the world.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/01/12/bill-gates-on-indias-first-polio-free-year/

  9. I remember well when we received the Sabin vaccine as kids in the 60’s. Good to see this malady being put behind us around the world.

  10. Rajini Rao says:

    Thanks for the link, Brian Kemper . Kudos to the Gates Foundation for supporting public health initiatives all over the world.

  11. May India got big achievement, but India still have 100s of polio cases in villages which are not registered truly because of some families in villages tries to hide the truth.

  12. Jim Douglas says:

    Lester Sawicki It was great to see Bill Gates speak out clearly and unambiguously on that:

    “And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts — you know, they, they kill children. It’s a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important.”

  13. Rajini Rao says:

    Pankajj Sharma , do you have a source for this information?

  14. Jim Douglas , it is a personal choice what parents do. And I mean no disrespect to you or your opinions. What these anti-vaccination zealot does not understand is what their personal decision is doing to the herd immunity. Its a general political problem on the right, the sanctimonious bs about personal rights and not having the intellectual wherewithal to understand that sometimes, its about the herd rights.

  15. yes Rajini Rao , i have, i belongs to a village, i show that some families don’t say truth even they have polio affected child.

  16. Rajini Rao says:

    Pankajj Sharma , you belong to a village that has internet access and people who speak English (such as yourself), yet hides polio cases from the WHO?

  17. Jim Douglas says:

    Suhail Manzoor I assume the “you” in that statement was directed to the parents who are ignorant of the concept of herd immunity?

  18. Rajini Rao says:

    I think that Jim Douglas and Suhail Manzoor are on the same side of the argument in favor of vaccines? 🙂

  19. Jim Douglas says:

    Rajini Rao I think so…I added a comment with some references, then reread his comment. But “And I mean no disrespect to you or your opinions.” leaves me baffled.

  20. Rajini Rao says:

    Yes, me thinks that Suhail misread your comment 🙂

  21. Vinod Pandey says:

    it’s wonderful, and we need same effort to many more .

  22. This is incredible .We can eradicate many such diseases with similar approach and efforts .

  23. Ginger Nohe says:

    The effort that must have been put into that !!! Congratulations to India!!!

  24. Rajini Rao , i am happy to say that their is no case in my village, but sad to say that there are a lot of case in other villages near my village in same block where i belongs, those people don’t want to share their children’s weaknesses to others and they tell they have no polio affected child.

  25. POLIO



    AWSOME dude!!!!

  26. We mostly are Rajini Rao. I just wanted to point out to Jim Douglas that parents do have the right (and the privilege) to refuse to vaccinate their children and I do not think any of them do it out of malice. My angst is mostly directed against people who politicise this issue to the great cost to the people who follow them and to society at large. I do not think Jim would disagree with that. I get mightily worked up about vaccines as you can gather from what my commentary 🙂

  27. This is terrific news about India. They put money into health instead of war.

  28. 🙂 finally a Victory… 🙂

  29. Amit Dhaka says:


  30. Rajini Rao , if you are agree, still should we say Polio free India! if not then what should be the next method to achieve that really.

  31. Sanjay Singh says:


  32. Rajini Rao says:

    Suhail Manzoor and Jim Douglas , it’s not just the politicizing that is a disservice to all. There are also the misinformed anti-science conspiracy theorists, including celebrities, who spread discredited rumors, ignore evidence and feed upon parental fears.

  33. i hope we will be corruption free one day.

  34. never, never dream comes true!

  35. Divya Dandotiya And I hope the world will be free of inhumanity on day… and a place to live for all, including animals with a resourceful living with nature.

  36. Jim Douglas says:

    Suhail Manzoor I don’t think anyone claimed “malice”. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children do so out of ignorance, based on misinformation spread by bad and/or fraudulent science, and by ignorant people with large megaphones. Certainly it’s a personal choice, but it’s a personal choice derived from ignorance, a choice that causes bad outcomes for their own children and for society at large. I don’t celebrate that sort of personal choice.

  37. Pankajj Sharma there isn’t much to think about the next course of action. We, as a society, can’t do much for those already affected, except treating them with respect and equality.

    And they won’t stop vaccination in near future just encourage people, spread awareness for future..

    Rajini Rao thanks for sharing, it’s wonderful news..

  38. It is a shame that not more effort is put into such erradication programs smallpox is gone now polio, more of the same for measles rubella etc

  39. Suhas Pai says:

    Pankajj Sharma You seem to attach more importance to whether India should have the Polio-Free tag or not. If there really are children affected by polio in your village, you should report such a case to the authorities or the media, anonymously if you wish

  40. thank you very much for this observation

  41. KHAWAR BUTT says:

    If India can do it why can’t Pakistan?

  42. This depends on our laws, they have to be asserted to the “rich” in the same manner they are to the “poor”!

  43. first make pakistan corruption free. teach them to love themselves & others. then approach for polio free nation. otherwise the base of that wick country will be more wick & its countrymen will be wicker . so teach them to be strong & fight for their rights & love other countries too . so that we could also help u all a little , the much we can. with love from India to pakistan , Afganishtan .

  44. Bisma Amjad says:

    y do we alwayz compare PAKISTAN with INDIA…..jst leave it gyzz….think abt as a whole world…

  45. “polo free panda”??

  46. Bisma Amjad says:

    we think collectively…..not individually……every PAKI has a loving heart…..but v dont count it…

  47. u must have some prblm wit ur eyes… polio free india… chakte india….

  48. This is good news, now for the final 3.

  49. Bisma Amjad says:

    anywayzz…nice job..

  50. Cathy Cook says:

    A momentous day. I remember seeing, all round rural India, medical workers giving out sabin vaccine to babies and small children. Wonderful news indeed.

  51. That is the coolest picture made out of people that i have ever seen in my life!! Good job Rajini Rao!!!

  52. Uday Kanth says:

    It’s time we put polio behind our backs and move on to bigger challenges! Go India!!

  53. I never knew about this issue before I read this post, but way to go!! Hopefully someday every country could be free of diseases like this.

  54. ola el muna says:

    yeach,,,, i have just known it also

  55. Another piece of great news for citizens of India I’m 2012.

  56. That doesn’t make any sense at all…

  57. Suhas Pai says:

    Akshay Pant I pity you

  58. This is a great conversation and I always love to hear people’s views on whether to vaccinate or not. While I do think that it is a person’s choice to receive vaccinations or not, I also think that there are a lot of ignorant people/groups who do not properly know or even look at the risks vs benefits of choosing to forgo getting vaccinated, and they are unfortunately putting themselves and others at risk by increasing the chance for viral infections to spread. So in short, the risks vs benefits, using Poliomyelitis as an example – yes, vaccinations do or may contain agents that are/could be carcinogenic or have other harmful agents/effects, but in this case, the vaccinations produced for this virus have eradicated the virus in most countries. I would say that the benefits out way the risks. It is scary to think that people would choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children for viruses that have been or are close to being eradicated.

    It is interesting to read from one person (I’m sorry I forgot your name) that villages are not reporting cases of Poliomyelitis. I’m sure they have their reasons, but it is sad that they don’t because there are treatment options for symptom relief and to prevent and/or decrease the complications of Poliomyelitis.

    One last point, the WHO has declared a Poliomyelitis free country and some are saying that it still exists in India. Yes, it probably does exist and people have it (they may not be infectious), but I interpret the WHO’s declaration as the virus hasn’t spread in the last 12 months, thereby making them free of it.

    Just my two cents, or 20 lines, worth!!! Thanks to all for kick starting my brain this morning 🙂

  59. Good Initiative by nice students and teachers,,,!!!

  60. Puneet Kumar says:

    do bund zindgi ke…..

  61. Nasir Farah says:

    This is great news and I’m glad for Indian children.

  62. Nirmal Singh says:

    A moment of proud for India and Indians. Chak De India.

  63. Omar Saleem says:

    Bravo! Kudos to the hard work of each and every individual that worked tirelessly and persistently to reach this historic and monumental victory.

  64. That’s great effort for such a huge country with so much of the population.

    Please allow me to share this post with courtesy citation !!

  65. prashanth gk says:

    One of India’s recent great achievements. Well done!

  66. Ishwar Singh says:

    Congrats Rajini Rao for wonderful art

  67. next mission shuld be ..poverty..of india

  68. Now i can say “we are developing”

  69. Some newspaper editorial articles that I thought I should share here.

    A major milestone in polio eradication – http://opinion-editorials.blogspot.com/2012/01/major-milestone-in-polio-eradication.html

    Polio – the fight must go on – http://opinion-editorials.blogspot.com/2012/01/polio-fight-must-go-on.html

  70. Things are not simple,how it looks in india. By saying Polio free india ,its not ! we should not be care less anytime . we should remember those life who lost their hope by get infected by Polio.

  71. Alex Eyre says:

    I agree – polio free india

  72. i bet this was a really really #funday zomg

  73. v impressive……!!gud work….

  74. This is good news. Let’s hope India manages to keep itself polio free 🙂

  75. Hector Garza says:

    good stuff….to the future, and beyond!

  76. that is an amazing picture

  77. Today dawn news also post this news good effort…:)

  78. Nik Soni says:

    Thats real increable

  79. that is the meaning of awesome

  80. Danning Yu says:

    Incredible! Polio is on its way to extinction.

  81. careful careful on the road later to pickpocket

  82. Liam Quin says:

    Truly wonderful progress.

    Research suggested for a while that the polio vaccine was the vector for transmitting AIDS from chimpanzees to humans, but it now seems more likely to have been a Hepatitis B vaccine whose production in the 1970s used laboratory chimpanzees and that was tested on gay men in New York and on people in Africa. So I think good news for treating polio all round.

  83. Liam Quin, that’s really important info, what are your sources? Thank you in advance

  84. Jim Douglas says:

    Liam Quin Uh, no. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discredited_AIDS_origins_theories

    SIV was probably transferred to humans the same way many (most?) modern diseases are transferred to humans — from direct contact with the affected animals (in this case, by eating monkeys). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_AIDS#Bushmeat_practice_as_the_most_plausible_cause


  85. That´s fantastic! Hope they can keep it that way.

  86. Jayesh Nath says:

    hei gay i like it very much

  87. Ryan Stroup says:

    They should have dropped one off of the A to fill in the gap on the R before they took the photo.

  88. great achievement nd thnks for giving information

  89. linda colman says:

    What a wonderful milestone, and how interesting that volunteers played such an important role in bringing it about.

  90. josem mo says:

    Congratulations India, great achievement in less than 2 years 🙂

    However, 3 other countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) have reported a massive increase in new polio cases.

    Eitezaz Mahmood, Columnist (“The Dangers of Politicizing Aid in Pakistan”) wrote:


    “Their reluctance to be vaccinated is caused in large part by extremist clerics who spread rumors that the vaccination campaigns are part of an American plot to sterilize children, or that the vaccination is derived from pigs.”

    (note: from pig trypsin, which is actually not true, those vaccine is true “halal” as certified by OIC.)

    Unfortunately, the same negative campaigns still happen in places like (part of): Nigeria, Afghanistan, Indonesia, southern Philippines (experience this by myself), …

    According to the Key Facts of the World Health Organization (WHO),

    Polio (poliomyelitis) mainly affects children under five years of age.

    One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs). Among those paralyzed, 5 percent to 10 percent die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.

    Polio cases have decreased by over 99 percent since 1988, from an estimated 350 000 cases then, to 1604 reported cases in 2009. The reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease.

    In 2010, only four countries in the world remain polio-endemic, down from more than 125 in 1988. The remaining countries are Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.

  91. Rajini Rao says:

    Fantastic information, thanks jose montarig !

  92. Cathy Cook says:

    Vaccination is vital and failure to vaccinate is not confined to less developed countries. Measles is on the rise in the US, particularly in California, because parents refuse to vaccinate their children.

  93. Deeksha Tare says:

    Must say that a post reading ‘Polio Free World’ is not far away!

    If we can do it for smallpox, we can do it for polio too. All we need is more peoples’ participation and rigorous awareness campaigns.

  94. Although there haven’t been any Polio cases last year, I thought for a nation to be decalred Polio Free, it should have no polio cases for the last three years ..

  95. Rajini Rao says:

    Stephen D’Souza , from the article I linked to in the post, WHO has taken India off the list of countries where polio is endemic. India will have to remain polio free for another two years for this to be made official.

  96. Julio Valdez says:

    It Is a good news for a restless country!!!

  97. Matt Kuenzel says:

    Great news … Wow 233 shares, 667 +1s, 177 comments … someone is a G+ rock star!

  98. Lee Verner says:

    For some reason I sang that poster to the tune of Radio Free Europe by REM..my weird mind aside, that is truly excellent news.

  99. Excellent job! Now, if we could only have a polio free Earth.

  100. I personally can’t wait until polio joins smallpox as extinct in the wild.

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