India, once recognized as the center of the polio epidemic, is now on the verge of creating history by stopping the transmission of polio.
The country has not reported a single case of the crippling disease in 12 months, which is an unparalleled victory! The Polio Eradication Programme in India is a collaborative effort of several partners among which UNICEF has been supplying vaccines to children like Lalita (in the photo above).
In 2009, there were more children affected by polio in India than anywhere else in the world. But millions of persistent and committed health workers battled against the disease, injecting new hope and enthusiasm in the eradication efforts. This massive army of volunteers attacked polio in the most vulnerable, remote areas, and vaccinated migrant populations inside running trains, at bus stands and in market places.
The focus now is on ensuring there are no new cases of polio coming from neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan, which, along with Nigeria, are the only other countries where the disease remains endemic.
So long as a single child anywhere remains infected, all children who are not immunized are at risk. Therefore it's important not to lose momentum and to remain vigilant. As Bruce Aylward, Director of the Polio Eradication Program says, "Almost isn't good enough with a disease this terrifying." Please keep supporting programmes like these by donating today.