Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and the World Health Organization Country Office for India are undertaking a Joint Monitoring Mission (JMM) from 1 – 10 March 2014 to review the country’s progress towards vector-borne disease (VBD) targets of the National Health Policy (2002), malaria related Millennium Development Goals, and challenges and plans for vector control efforts.
Congratulating the country for its monumental achievement, Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization, said, “India has shown the world that there is no such thing as impossible. This is likely the greatest lesson, and the greatest inspiration for the rest of the world.”
Surveillance was the game-changer in the fight against polio. It marked a strategic shift in India’s polio eradication efforts. “The setting up of a surveillance system proved to be the most important milestone in the journey of polio eradication in India as it formed the backbone of the eradication drive by helping identify areas and populations that were at risk and the type of poliovirus circulating in different areas besides measuring progress,” explains Dr Nata Menabde, WHO Representative to India
The last case of polio in India was reported on 13 January 2011. Since then the country has remained free of any case of wild poliovirus. It is an unprecedented achievement for a country, which until 2009 accounted for more than half the world’s polio incidence. The entire South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organization is today at the brink of an historic occasion—polio-free certification at the end of March 2014.