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.
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!