October 24 is observed as the World Polio Day with an aim to raise awareness about the infectious disease, Poliomyelitis. Poliomyelitis is commonly referred to as polio and has other names like infantile paralysis. Rotary International deserves praise for its continuing efforts to immunize children in poorer countries, organize free health camps and polio awareness rallies, as well as engage governments in those countries to take up the cause. India has shown great leadership on polio eradication and proved the critics wrong by getting to zero polio cases. Celebrities like actor Amitabh Bachchan created awareness of polio eradication among the masses, and partnerships with religious groups has certainly helped break down scare stories and myths about the disease too. Polio eradication has had a big impact on how health services are delivered to the poorest and most marginalized communities. If we can vaccinate children in the remote areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, we can end polio and protect all of the world’s children.
Vinod C. Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)