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India Taken Off WHO List Of Polio Endemic Countries

“India was taken off a list of polio endemic countries by the World Health Organization on Saturday, marking a massive victory for health workers battling the crippling disease” and “leav[ing] just three countries with endemic polio — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria,” Agence France-Presse reports (2/26). “Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the WHO removed India from the list after the country passed one year without registering any new cases,” the Associated Press/CBS News writes, adding, “India must pass another two years without new cases to be declared polio-free” (2/27).

The Wall Street Journal’s “LiveMint.com” reports on how, faced with enormous odds, the Indian government worked to overcome polio, writing, “‘If every country follows the model set by the Indian government, we will soon achieve global eradication of the virus,’ said William Boyd, chairman of the Rotary Foundation, which partnered with the Indian government in the polio campaign, along with WHO, [the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] and UNICEF” (Krishnan, 2/27). Press Trust of India/IBNLive reports on how lessons learned from the success of India’s polio campaign “could help eliminate measles-related child deaths and neonatal tetanus from the country” (2/26).