Dr Jacob M Puliyel in the Hindu on the failures of (and remedial measures for) The National Polio Eradication Programme.
Here is another opinion piece from the Hindu on polio eradication:
“A polio-free India will unlock the door to a polio-free world,” wrote Dr. Heymann, Representative for Polio Eradication at WHO Headquarters, in a journal editorial last December. “If the job can be finished in India where the transmission of poliovirus is so efficient, there is a sense that it can also be finished in all other remaining polio-affected areas in the world.”
There are almost 200 countries in the world. All but four have got rid of the disability disease polio. The culprits are Nigeria, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Why are we slipping in India? After all, we as a nation have done remarkably well in ridding small pox, reducing leprosy to astonishingly low levels, fighting goitre valiantly and with major success.
Why is polio on the rise? Relevantly, Mr. Robert Scott of the Rotary International’s `Polio-Plus’ committee points out that polio eradication hinges on four factors: vaccine supply, community acceptance, funding, and political will.
These issues need to be discussed in greater detail, and a flexible programme needs to be launched urgently.
Polio is not an unsolved problem. We understand it in great measure and can conquer it. We must do it. Not to do so is a crime against our children, from whom we have borrowed this earth.