India Progresses towards Polio Eradication

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WHO Country Office for India

13 January 2014: Third anniversary of the last polio case in India

The Global Eradication of Polio
- A World Without Polio -



The goal of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is to ensure that no child will ever again know the crippling effects of polio. Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus poliovirus. It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age, but affects mainly children under three. Polio is mainly passed through person-to-person (i.e., fecal-oral) contact, and infects persons who do not have immunity against the disease. There is no cure for polio, but the disease can be prevented by immunization with polio vaccine. Oral polio vaccine (OPV) was developed in 1961 by Dr Albert Sabin; OPV is a highly effective, safe and inexpensive vaccine, and has been used in all countries of the world to achieve polio eradication
Along with all 192 member nations of the World Health Organization, the Government of India in 1988 committed the nation to the goal of global polio eradication. Since 1995, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has been conducting intensive immunization and surveillance activities aimed at the complete elimination of poliovirus and paralytic polio. The National Polio Surveillance Project, which was launched in 1997, provides technical and logistic assistance to the GoI, and works closely with state governments and a broad array of partner agencies to achieve the goal of polio eradication in India.




Photographer: Sephi Bergerson


Poliovirus type 1 at 2.9 Angstroms resolution. Hogle, Chow & Filman, 1985

©National Polio Surveillance Project, All Rights Reserved

©National Polio Surveillance Project, All Rights Reserved

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