Polio can be eradicated from India in two years: WHO
A WHO official says, "India has made tremendous progress in combating polio and the government's campaign against the disease has been a tremendous success."india Updated: Dec 30, 2007 14:43 IST
Despite fresh cases of polio being reported from the Capital as well as neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the World Health Organisation is confident that the disease can be eradicated from India within two years.
"India has made tremendous progress as far as combating polio is concerned and we are confident that the disease can be eradicated from the country within the next two years," WHO Assistant Director General and in-charge of communicable diseases David Heymann told PTI.
"The government's campaign against the disease has been a tremendous success," he added.
Inspite of the intensive pulse polio campaign, cases of the deadly disease were reported from certain areas in western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar this year.
The Capital reported two cases of polio with one as recent as November.
WHO Director General Margaret Chan, who was on a visit to India last month, met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and expressed satisfaction with the progress in combating the disease in his state, Heymann said.
A large chunk of the cases reported this year had been of the P-3 virus, which is the lesser prevalent strain, forcing the authorities to re-think on the vaccination strategy.
As P-I is the most virulent strain of polio, the vaccination campaign of the government had focussed on the eradication of this strain using the MOPV-I vaccine across the country.