WHO lauds India`s polio eradication drive

WHO says the country`s efforts to eradicate polio were impressive, reflected in the 95% reduction in the number of cases.

New Delhi: The country`s efforts to eradicate polio were impressive, reflected in the 95 percent reduction in the number of cases, a top official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Saturday.

"What you have done is impressive, the polio vaccines have made significant change," WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan said, while addressing the inaugural session of an international conference on maternal and child healthcare organised here.

"The number of cases have come down by 95 percent," she said.

Chan, however, added that more efforts were needed to convert promises into action, and in making the investments count.

"The investments are scaling up the programmes, but resources come with expectations. Impact assessment and accountability are important. Nearly 85 countries don`t have any reliable data system," she said.

She added that WHO is working on making a standard system for making a comprehensive system for data collection.

"WHO will be identifying the core indicators for collecting data so that countries can routinely record standardised data," she said.

Chan also highlighted the importance of private sector in making healthcare available to a wider section of the population.

Caused by a virus that invades the nervous system, polio remains endemic in just four countries - Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.