11th Mar 2019 10:03:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

It was exactly five years back in March 2014 when India was declared polio free by the World Health Organisation (WHO). But the war is still on, since the dreaded virus is yet to be eradicated from the planet. The globally accepted caveat is that as long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk. That’s the reason why on National Immunization Days children are vaccinated to maintain high levels of childhood immunity and on last Sunday the day was observed across the country with Arunachal Pradesh very much in the business.
Polio, as we know has been a great challenge to humankind.The highly infectious viral disease affects children between 0-5 years causing severe nerve or tissue damage, leading to paralysis with legs first to be affected. There is no cure and vaccination is the only way out to for guaranteeing widespread immunity.The model has been a global success and has been effectively used for complete eradication of smallpox and restriction of diseases such as polio, measles, and tetanus to a substantial extent.WHO is confident that polio is in its dying days and could be eradicated soon if things are mended in the zones of concern i.e Pakistan and Afganishtan where the virus continues to exist. If this is achieved, not only will it be the second human pathogen to be eradicated ever but it will be a great legacy for the world in terms of efficacy of vaccination programmes.
India has been a proud conqueror of polio, and this isdespite being beset by countless obstacles. It is the outcome of combined efforts and commitments not only on the part of governments, but also for the tireless hard work of millions of front-line workers - vaccinators, social mobilisers and community and health workers who continue to implement innovative strategies. When in 2009 India reported 741 polio cases, more than any other country in the world, the last case to be reported was in 2011, a dramatic turnaround indeed within a very short period. This is something extraordinary in a nation where nothing seems to work desirably.Also there is extreme vigilance and unabated efforts to maintain this hard-earned polio-free nation status. Although primarily a government-driven program, it has matured into a massive social mobilization exercise, galvanizing the entire population, imbibing the effective  multipronged strategies.
Now the dilemma which haunts the mind of any argumentative Indian is that why aren’t there more national success stories like polio. Keeping aside this great debate, as an optimistic Indian, it would be sensible to start believing that positive things can really happen if we are serious enough to fine-tune ourselves to take lessons and get inspired.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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