India is polio-free | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: July 16, 2024

It has been three years since a case of polio was reported in India.

That’s the period of time the World Health Organization requires a country to go without anyone catching polio before declaring itself polio-free. It’s a come-from-behind victory for the country, which was considered an especially challenging holdout thanks to its high population and, up until five years ago, accounted for almost half the world’s cases.

“The fact that we can put this disease in the history books is one of the greatest achievements of mankind,” says Dr. Mathew Varghese in a Gates Foundation video commemorating the event.

Recent generations of Americans don’t recall the scourge of the poliomyelitis virus that paralyzed children half a century ago, thanks in part to a widespread governmental and non-governmental eradication effort that is close to complete. But while cases plummeted by 99 percent since 1988, children are still dying in parts of the world. The virus only holds out in a few countries, in hard-to-reach locales, and any remaining stronghold of the disease could lead to a later resurgence. As it cannot live outside the human body, once eradicated the disease will be gone. A Global Emergency Action Plan established in 2012 expects to spend some $5.5 billion, and hopes to achieve eradication by 2018.

Craving more good news? Download our free issue and become an Optimist.

Photo: Courtesy of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Colombia’s battle against deforestation achieves remarkable results

BY THE OPTIMIST DAILY EDITORIAL TEAM Colombia's deforestation rate dropped to its lowest level in 23 years, marking a significant milestone in the country's ...

Read More

US track star Allyson Felix opens the first-ever nursery for Olympic parents

BY THE OPTIMIST DAILY EDITORIAL TEAM The upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are expected to make history, not just by achieving gender parity, ...

Read More

Sweden to introduce off-grid communities that fully sustain themselves

To ensure that communities around the world become future-proof and resilient in the face of climate change, it’s essential to create development models that ...

Read More

‘Million-mile’ EV batteries are near. The impact could be massive.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have a clear environmental advantage over their gas-guzzling counterparts, but when it comes to longevity, the two are in dead heat. ...

Read More