India and 10 other nations declared polio-free, but global risks persist
Published on Mar 27, 2014 8:20 PM
NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared India free of the crippling polio virus on Thursday, making the country's almost two-decade-long, multi-billion-dollar effort one of the biggest public health achievements in recent times.
Besides India, 10 other Asian nations were also declared polio-free - Bangladesh, Bhutan, South Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and East Timor.
A country which has not had any new cases for three years can be certified as polio-free.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only countries in the world left where the virus remains endemic, largely due to violent conflicts, weak health systems and poor sanitation.
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