Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

Asia-pacific

India celebrates three years polio-free

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-13

India on Monday marked three years since its last reported polio case, meaning it will soon be certified as having defeated the crippling virus in a huge boost for global eradication efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.


Indian Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with global groups who have been working to eliminate the virus, hailed the three-year mark as “a monumental milestone”, which has been attributed to an extensive vaccination programme.

“In 2009, India accounted for over half of the global polio burden and today is the historic day when we have completed three years without a single case of wild polio,” Azad said at a news conference in New Delhi.

Until the 1950s, polio affected thousands every year in rich countries. The disease attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours of infection. Polio often spreads in areas with poor sanitation -- a factor that made it particularly widespread in India

But vaccination initiatives have proven highly effective.

In India, the effort kicked off in the mid-1990s, overseen by the Indian government, a coalition of charities, private donors and UN agencies. An army of more than two million vaccinators, supported by local religious and community leaders, canvassed villages, slums, train stations and public gatherings in even the most remote parts of the country to boost awareness.

Pakistan still a problem

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only countries in the world today where the disease remains endemic, though the number of cases is on the decline in the latter two countries.

Polio in Pakistan, however, is still considered a serious problem, with Taliban militants attacking vaccinators whom they accuse of acting as Western spies. Those suspicions have intensified since a fake vaccination programme was used by the CIA to provide cover for operatives tracking al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden before he was killed in May 2011.

Hopes for combating polio in Pakistan were given a boost last month when cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan pledged to personally spearhead vaccination efforts in the troubled northwest of the country.

Meanwhile, there have been isolated polio outbreaks in the Somali and Kenya, as well as war-torn Syria in 2013, causing concern among global health experts.

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters and AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-01-13

  • USA - INDIA

    Indian diplomat allowed to leave US after indictment

    Read more

  • INDIA – SOCHI OLYMPICS

    'No flag' for Indian athletes at Sochi Winter Olympics

    Read more

  • INDIA

    Building collapses in India killing at least 14 workers

    Read more

COMMENT(S)