Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Polio Campaign

Polio has been eradicated from the majority of the world, however it remains prevalent to the children in four countries; India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. In 1985 Rotary International started the campaign to end polio around the world. The affect has been significant, but they say that the last few miles, that last 1% is the hardest to eliminate. In India there is a polio campaign going on to distribute the vaccine to as many as 65 million children under the age of 5 in 2 Indian states, the problem however is that the majority of those that need these drops reside in the poorest, most crowded slums in India. This is because polio is transferred by being exposed to the feces of a polio victim, which is a common activity in the slum environment . There also was a fear in these slums that the vaccine was a conspiracy from the developed nations to make Muslims infertile and therefore reduce the increase of Muslims in India. This fear has been largely refuted now and the campaign set up more than 2, 700 booths administering the vaccine. Just 2 drops can prevent polio. The problem is that polio does not kill and is not seen as important as other diseases. This campaign will hopefully help to close the last 1%, the expected end of polio they say can be by 2011.

-Sara Frodge

Source: BBC News