India continues to be zero-polio, says Khera

India continues to be zero-polio, says KheraAjay Khera, Deputy Commissioner in the Union Health Ministry has said that the no cases of wild polio have been reported in the country since twenty two months.

He described this as unprecedented progress in the fight against the crippling disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had taken India out o the list of polio-endemic nations in February 2012 but the country will have to remain free of the disease for two more years.

If this aim is met, it will be a great achievement for health services in the country as India accounted for nearly half of all polio cases in the world until as recently as 2009. Every year, on National Immunization Days (NID) about 2.3 million vaccinators under the direction of 155,000 supervisors visit 209 million houses to administer Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to around 172 million children under the age of five across the country.

Experts say that the risk of the disease again raining its ugly head persists as it is still affecting two of India's neighbors, Pakistan and Afghanistan besides Nigeria in Africa. The polio eradication programme is giving special attention to border areas to ensure that all below 5 years old children are safe fromt eh disease.

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