July 12, 2011 is an incredible date in the fight against polio. July 12 marks the first time ever that 6 months have gone by without one single case of polio being reported in India. With 172 million children under the age of 5 in India, this means as close to 100% of children as possible were vaccinated. Every kid was found and immunized!
This great news is a result of a massive immunization campaign in India over the past 10 years. Eight campaigns per year were organized, each utilizing 1 million vaccinators! This huge effort was led by the government of India with the World Health Organization. Rotary and UNICEF have also been instrumental in achieving this tremendous goal.
For more on the eradication of polio, listen to Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General for Polio at the WHO, who heads the polio eradication programme there, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).