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India On Verge Of Recording Polio-Free Year

If India does not record a new polio case through January 13, “produc[ing] 12 straight months of polio-free surveillance data, it will be removed from the list of countries where polio is considered endemic, leaving only the other three,” Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, Scientific American reports (Branswell, 1/9). “Asking other countries to draw inspiration from India in their polio eradication drive, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the country not reporting a single polio case over the last year is a major milestone in the global health sector,” the Economic Times writes (1/10).

In a statement on “The Gates Notes,” Gates writes, “India’s story is proof that major health problems can be solved in the toughest places in the world. But the fight against polio is not over and we are at a critical moment in time,” saying funding must be sustained “to ensure a comprehensive immunization effort in India and other countries — until there are no more cases” (1/9).