India is well on its way to eradicate the polio virus, according to health officials who cite a sharp drop in the number of cases this year as compared to last year as an indication. Largely because of effective surveillance of migrant population and vaccination drive, so far this year only 25 cases have been registered against last year’s 741, according to an article in the Indian Today.
Ravindra Bantel, MD, regional team leader of the World Health Organization (WHO) National Polio Surveillance program for Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, told the Indian Express that a meeting has been planned in New Delhi to further streamline the population of migrants and identify areas in the states along with municipal corporations so that each person is covered under the Pulse Polio immunization rounds.
According to the Indian government’s press information bureau, since January, two national immunization rounds have been held, and high-risk areas in the country have received two additional vaccination rounds. A new vaccine-the bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV)-was introduced in India in January, which is effective against both polio type-1 and the less virulent type-3 strain. Type-2 polio has already been eradicated.