Friday, 2 March 2012

India declared polio free

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While the British news agenda is dominated by a story about a man and someone else's horse, it's worth taking a moment to acknowledge a milestone for human progress. India, home to more than a billion people, or a seventh of the world's population, has officially been declared polio-free:
"It was a much-anticipated moment. Weeks after India marked 12 months in which no Indian child had been paralyzed by polio, the World Health Organization notified the national authorities on 25 February that India was officially removed from the list of countries with active transmission of endemic polio. India’s success leaves only three countries remaining polio-endemic - meaning they have never stopped indigenous wild poliovirus transmission: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan."
The achievement is testament to the transformative capabilities of science, medicine and philanthropy (the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spearheaded efforts to eradicate polio), and is something the whole world can celebrate.
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