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India and 10 other nations declared polio-free, but global risks persist

Published on Mar 27, 2014 8:20 PM
 
An Indian child receives polio vaccination drops from a medical volunteer during a National Pulse Polio Immunisation (PPI) programme in Amritsar on January 19, 2014. 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. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

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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