Polio-free India ‘a magnificent achievement’

Rotary International News Service

BANGKOK, Thailand — Bruce Aylward (right), assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration for the World Health Organization, said India’s removal from the polio-endemic list is “perhaps the most important milestone ever on the long road to eradication.”

“It’s a magnificent achievement. And it is a Rotary achievement,” he said during an address at the Rotary International Convention held here this week. “Today, Rotary’s vision of a polio-free world is much closer to reality.”

But an upsurge in cases of paralysis from polio in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and recent polio outbreaks in China, the Congo, and Tajikistan have also prompted what he called an “unprecedented push” to finally end the disease. He said 192 ministers of health will meet next week and declare polio a public health emergency.

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