In an attempt to form a united front to completely eradicate
polio, India has extended a helping hand to its two key neighboring countries -
Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Reports say that the external affairs ministry, along with
the health ministry, recently invited teams from the two countries to visit
India and adopt its model for eradicating polio.
According to the sources, a delegation from Afghanistan is expected on February
21, but India is yet to hear from Pakistan on the issue.
Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have high polio burden. Therefore, India runs a
high risk of importing the virus. After an outbreak last year, India and most
other countries, introduced extra health checks on prospective visitors from
Pakistan. This is the main reason why the Indian government has not been able
to shed its guard against the virus even though the country was officially
declared polio free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March last year.
Only three countries -Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan - remain polio-endemic
Indian officials say eradicating polio from these areas would ensure a complete