New Delhi: India is preparing to celebrate a full year without any reported cases of polio. The milestone Friday is a major victory in a global eradication effort that appeared to be stalled just a few years ago.
If no previously undisclosed cases of the crippling disease are discovered across the country, India will no longer be considered a polio endemic country. That leaves just Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria on that list.
The achievement gives a major boost to health advocates and donors who had begun to lose hope of defeating the stubborn disease that the world had promised to eradicate by 2000.
It also helps India shed its embarrassing association with a disease linked to poverty.