World Polio Day: No polio cases detected in India since 2012

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International more than a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who developed the first vaccine for the viral disease, which was approved in 1955

Image source: Google
Image source: Google

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Polio can be prevented through immunization. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life. The strategy to eradicate polio is therefore based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free

Year  Number of polio cases
2003 225
2004 134
2005 66
2006 676
2007 874
2008 559
2009 741
2010 42
2011 1

According to the information displayed on the table, India began to see a drastic reduction in polio cases by the year 2010 and witnessed only one case in the year 2011.

Overall, if we observe the polio cases in India, Uttar Pradesh registered the most number of polio cases in Uttar Pradesh. With 1,242 patients affected with polio. In 2009, this number reduced to 602 patients and in 2010, U.P. recorded only 10 polio cases. Whereas in Maharashtra, only 26 cases of polio were diagnosed in children from 2003 to 2011. The central government and NGO’s came together to eradicate polio.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Archana Patil, Additional Director, Directorate of Health Services, Maharashtra, said, “Polio-free India campaign was launched across the country in order to eradicate the polio virus. Under the pulse polio programme, children belonging to the 0 to 5 age group were administered the oral polio vaccine. This campaign proved to be successful and there have been no cases recorded from 2012 -2017. However, the fight against polio is not over and we need to be constantly alert.”

In 1988, the number deaths attributed to polio in 125 countries was 3.5 lakh. Due to the unavailability of the polio vaccines, children developed disabilities. Therefore, it is important that children should receive the polio dose vaccine.

The Pulse Polio Vaccination Campaign was launched by the government to create awareness among the general public about disease. This campaign resulted in the reduction of deaths due to polio by 99 per cent.