Rotary International to eradicate Polio from India by 2008

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Bangalore, Dec 4 (UNI) Rotary International is determined to eradicate Polio from India by 2008, its President Wilfrid J Wilkinson said today.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said though 2005 was fixed as the target year for eradication of polio from the world, it could not be achieved due to various reasons and polio cases that have surfaced in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

In India, 411 polio cases were reported, of which most were from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where the muslim population was more.

Initially, there was resistance from people belonging to the minority community, but after the involvement of Muslim leaders and awareness created about the need for immunisation, the situation had improved and Muslim women were now coming forward.

Mr Wilkinson said the Rotary International had spent Rs 2,500 crore since 1985 for eradication of polio in the world.

Stating that polio was almost eradicated from the world, he said of the 126 countries, polio cases were currently prevalent only in four countries--India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

''We have decided to eradicate polio from the world by 2010 and in India by 2008,'' he added.

He said the Indian Government was spending about Rs 1,300 crore every year, while the Rotary International since 1985 had spent Rs 315 crore on the programme in India.

UNI

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