The Washington Post

India has eradicated polio

More than 50 years since Jonas Salk discovered the first successful polio vaccine, the disease persists in developing countries. According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 372 cases were reported in 2013, up from 223 in 2012.

So it's encouraging that India — which had 741 cases as recently as 2009 —  appears to have finally eradicated the illness, with the last reported case occurring three years ago. Patralekha Chatterjee at the BBC News explains how it happened:

Children who suffered from severe bouts of diarrhoea did not fully benefit from the oral polio vaccine.

So, community mobilisers started talking about the need for hand-washing, hygiene and sanitation, exclusive breastfeeding up to the age of six months, diarrhoea management with zinc and oral rehydration therapy, and routine immunisation, necessary to sustain the success of polio eradication.

This holistic approach has paid off.

India's polio campaign gathered momentum when it focused on marginalised and mobile people, and began working in earnest with religious leaders in Muslim communities to urge parents to immunise their children.

India's success puts us one big step closer to completely eradicating polio — something that seems, finally, achievable. Read the rest here.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
Play Videos
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
What you need to know about filming the police
Play Videos
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
The signature drink of New Orleans
Next Story
Ezra Klein · January 13, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.