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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

INDIA'S VACCINATION PROGRAM A SUCCESS: INT NEWS BY MICHAEL EDWARDS (ABC NEWS)

India declares vaccination program a success, looks to be 'polio-free' by March

by Michael Edwards

pic by Ms Godhully

"India's government has declared its success in eradicating new cases of polio is a "monumental milestone".

A massive vaccination program achieved what was once thought impossible - no new polio cases in three years - a result that puts India on the verge of being considered polio-free.

India will likely receive its official World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsement as being polio-free in March.

Vimla is from a small village in West Bengal but now works as a labourer on a building site in New Delhi.

Her 18-month-old son Raju goes with her to work and Vimla lives in fear of him contracting dangerous diseases such as polio.

"Yes, I have seen those kids who have not been vaccinated for polio. They have really bad limbs and they are scarred for life," she said.

But children such as Raju now have a brighter future thanks to a massive vaccination project undertaken by the Indian government.

Raju was one of millions of children who was given the vaccine that should keep him free from the disease that is usually spread via sewer water and can cause almost instant paralysis.

His father, Kumar, is full of praise for the program.

"The polio vaccinations are very important for the kids, for their wellbeing and their health," he said.

"The government has done a very good job of making vaccines available to the people so they can get their kids easily vaccinated and so their kids are free from the disease and not disabled."

As recently as 2009, India accounted for more than half the number of polio cases worldwide."

ABC NEWS retrieved 1/14/14    5:59 am   Aust time


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