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India declares itself as polio-free, no new case in last 3 years

New Delhi: India today declared itself a polio-free country for the third consecutive year without a single new case of the disease and termed it as a "monumental milestone"."It is a matter of pride for
PTI January 13, 2014 22:22 IST
PTI
New Delhi: India today declared itself a polio-free country for the third consecutive year without a single new case of the disease and termed it as a "monumental milestone".

"It is a matter of pride for the nation that not a single case of polio has been detected in the three years. This is one of India's monumental and biggest milestone achieved, through a massive and sustained immunisation programme," Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

"India accounted for half of all the cases of polio reported globally in 2009. Within four and half years, we have been able to eradicate the crippling disease," Azad said adding that 36 months ago the last case was reported on January 13, 2011 when a two-year-old girl suffered polio paralysis in Howrah district of West Bengal. 741 cases were reported in 2009, 42 in 2010 and one case in 2011.

An official function to celebrate the occasion will he held on 11 February in which President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and WHO Director General Margaret Chan along with international NGOs will be present.