India has passed the 3-year mark since its last case of wild poliovirus, reported January 13, 2011 (http://bit.ly/1awqY5e). Next month, a commission of experts from the World Health Organization’s South-East Asia Region will analyze laboratory data from the last 3 years to officially determine whether the region is free of polio.
Only a few years ago, India had the largest endemic reservoir of polio in the world. The country’s population density, along with its poor sanitary conditions, conspired to make eradicating polio a daunting task. But the Indian government, in collaboration with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and other organizations, deployed an enormous number of workers to immunize children throughout the nation, even in poor, high-risk, and remote areas of the country.