President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday launched the pulse polio immunization programme by administering polio drops to children at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Children of less than five years will be given polio drops on the National Immunization Day Jan 18, as part of the government’s drive to sustain polio eradication from the region, a statement said.
India has been implementing the Pulse Polio Programme since 1995 and the last case of wild polio was reported in January 2011. A country is declared polio-free by the WHO, if no case is reported for three consecutive years. India and seven other Asian countries were declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) March 27, 2014. Apart from India, the other countries which were given polio-free certificates were Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives and Myanmar.