The challenge now is to replicate India's success in neighboring Pakistan, one of three remaining polio-endemic countries, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Rotary leaders in India are working with their Pakistani counterparts to share best practices and lessons learned during India's successful anti-polio campaign. Rotary was particularly effective in obtaining the support of influential religious leaders in India's Islamic communities. Pakistani Rotary leaders are playing a similar role to counter rumors and misinformation about polio vaccinations that keep some Muslim parents from immunizing their children.
Meanwhile, National Immunization Days continue in both countries. During these large-scale drives, Rotary volunteers join health workers to vaccinate every child under age five against polio.
"We must now stop polio in Pakistan to both protect Pakistani children and to safeguard our success in India and other countries where we have beaten this terrible disease," says India PolioPlus Committee Chair Deepak Kapur. "Until polio is finally eradicated globally, all unvaccinated children will remain at risk of infection and paralysis, no matter where they live."
Give to End Polio Now

Read a blog post by former Rotary Foundation Trustee Ashok Mahajan on 20 years of fighting polio
Read a New York Times interview with India PolioPlus Committee chair Deepak Kapur
See a photo gallery of illuminated landmarks

By Dan Nixon
Rotary News