Celebrating a Decade of Polio-Free India: Reflecting on the Journey

India celebrated a remarkable achievement as it completed a decade of being polio-free. The last wild poliovirus case was reported in 2011 from West Bengal’s Howrah district. After three years of maintaining this status, India was officially certified polio-free by the WHO on March 27, 2014.

Deepak Kapur, Chairman of Rotary International’s India PolioPlus Committee, emphasized the importance of extensive vaccination campaigns and a robust surveillance system in this fight against polio. Polio mainly affects children under five years of age and can cause paralysis.

Dr. Ashish Chauhan, an Immunisation specialist at UNICEF India, highlighted the success of National Immunisation Days (NIDs) and Sub-National Immunisation Days (SNIDs) in India’s polio eradication programme. These strategies significantly improved vaccine coverage across the country.

From booth activities to house-to-house visits and engagement with community leaders, India’s efforts in maintaining its polio-free status have been commendable. Dr. Ashish also mentioned that the lessons learned from this achievement are benefiting routine immunisation and other public health interventions, including Covid-19 vaccination.

Deepak Kapur stressed the need for sustained intensive vaccination efforts to protect India’s children from polio, especially as countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan still face polio-endemic challenges. The journey towards eradicating polio globally continues, with India serving as a beacon of hope in this fight.


IANS, established in 1986, is India's largest independent news service, offering 24x7 news from India and South Asia, and a preferred source for diverse content across six business verticals.

Related Articles