UP, Bihar impeding realisation of polio-free India: Rotary

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New Delhi, Oct 26 (UNI) Rotary International today said the polio virus is circulating in two endemic states -- Uttar Pradesh and Bihar-- which are posing the biggest threat to the realisation of a polio-free India.

Asserting that ''the world expects India to win the battle'', Rotary International's India National polioplus Committee (INPPC) chairman, Deepak Kapur said: '' Unlike in Nigeria, where corruption and uneven government support have hampered efforts to curb the disease, in India there is a strong political leadership which is highly mobilised and committed. We are certain that with such a strong leadership, it is just a matter of time.'' Strengthening further its fight against the disease the world over, Rotary International has pumped in another 620 million dollars for the cause.

Apart from funding, advocacy initiatives and social activities, Rotary International is also implementing various novel approaches to impart thrust to the Polio eradication programme. These initiatives include: 'Polio Corrective Surgery Camps' and 'Free General Health Camps'.

The efforts also include extensive advocacy efforts on political, bureaucratic and religious fronts at the state, national and international level.

Besides, people were taught about the disease and campaigns launched to fight the social stigma being associated by the Muslim community with the polio vaccine.

In this regard, Muslim Ulema Council was formed in UP, which today has become a resource for the state government and other social organisations.

'' What we have achieved through the Polioplus programme is historic and despite some difficulties, eradicating the disease is within reach,'' said an optimistic Mr Kapur.

'' India's 90,000 Rotary members will be out in force during the upcoming campaigns.

The organisation, with its concerted effort with various other groups, claimed to have brought down the number of polio-endemic countries to just four and that almost 99 per cent of the virus has wiped out from the planet.

UNI

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