Every year so many deaths occur due to polio all over the world, know how India became polio free
Every year so many deaths occur due to polio all over the world, know how India became polio free

Polio, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects young children. The virus spreads through contaminated food, water, or contact with an infected person. Once contracted, it can cause serious damage to the nervous system. Currently, there is no cure for polio, making vaccination crucial for prevention.

World Health Assembly's Efforts

The World Health Assembly (WHA) initiated a global program in 1988 to eradicate polio worldwide. India launched a successful Polio-Plus program in 1995, which involved administering polio drops to children under five for five consecutive years. India was declared polio-free in 2014, following extensive efforts and investments.

India's Achievement Recognized

With the involvement of 2.4 million workers annually and a budget exceeding ₹10 billion, India conducted vaccination campaigns six to eight times per year, reaching approximately 170 million children per round. WHO recognized India as polio-free in 2014.

Travel Requirements

Travelers visiting countries like Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Syria, and Cameroon must ensure they receive polio vaccination due to ongoing risks of transmission in these areas.

Symptoms and Impacts

Polio can cause paralysis and, in severe cases, death, especially among children under five. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in limbs. Approximately 5-10% of paralyzed individuals die when breathing muscles become immobilized.

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Global Status of Polio

Since 1988, reported wild poliovirus cases have decreased by over 99%. Despite this progress, in 2021, there were six reported cases globally. Wild poliovirus type 2 was eradicated in 1999, and type 3 in 2020.

Recent Developments in Pakistan

In 2024, Pakistan reported two new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1). Both cases were detected in Balochistan Province, specifically in the Chaman and Dera Bugti districts. As of 2023, 125 positive samples were recorded, increasing to 34 in 2024. This update underscores the ongoing challenges in eradicating polio globally, with continued vigilance required to prevent resurgence.

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