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Hopeful yet vigilant India marks a year without polio

Friday January 13, 2012 08:50:05 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: With a 'zero-polio' record in the last one year, India Friday carried its fight against the disease to hospitals and health care centres across the country where parents brought their children for vaccination. Union health minister Ghuman Nabi Azad said the country is vigilant yet alert.

"We are excited and hopeful, at the same time vigilant and alert," Azad said in a statement. Jan 13 marks one full year when the country has reported no new polio case.

The country has spent more than Rs.12,000 crore on the Pulse Polio Programme. It took a lead in introducing bivalent polio vaccine (bOPV) in January 2010.

The last new polio case in India was reported Jan 13, 2011, involving a two-year-old girl in West Bengal. In 2010, there were 42 cases, as compared to 741 in 2009, which accounted for nearly half of the world's polio cases. In 1991, there were 6,028 cases and in 1985 the number stood at 150,000.

"The progress is indeed remarkable, considering that in 2009, India with 741 cases accounted for nearly half the global cases. This giant leap towards polio containment in a short span of two years is an endorsement of India's tireless and persistent efforts," Azad stressed.

Experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the country should take the fight against the disease ahead with its vigilance programmes and national immunisation programme.

"India should be most concerned about complacency, which can undo a lot of the strong progress that has been achieved," said Hamid Jafari, the project manager of the WHO-National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP).







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Dhananjay Bele, President of Nashik Industries & Manufacturers Association (NIMA). addressing the industrialists' meet in Malegaon Friday. The meeting was organised as part of Malegaon Mahautsav 2012, a three day event which began on January 06.




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