This is some really great news about India.

There has not been a single recorded new case of the disease since January last year, and if that remains the case for the rest of the year the disease will be officially eradicated.

It is an extraordinary achievement for a country where as recently as 1995 there were 32,000 polio cases and young victims can still be seen with misshapen limbs begging at traffic lights throughout the main cities.

But officials believe this will soon be a symbol of India’s past as rising wealth is reflected in better basic healthcare.

The campaign to eradicate polio in India was launched by its government in 1999 and has been supported by international health charities and groups like Rotary in whose volunteers, including many from Britain, have helped distribute the vaccines.

To achieve “polio-free” status by January next year officials and volunteers are staging “National Immunisation Days” around the country to immunize more than 170 million children under five – around 15 per cent of India’s population.

Development happens in small steps, but each step matters.

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