To mark the National Immunization Day on January 18, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee launched the pulse polio immunization program by administering polio drops to children at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. Children under the age of five years will be given polio drops as part of the Government of India's drive to sustain polio eradication from the region.
India has been implementing the pulse polio program since 1995. The last case of wild polio in India was reported on January 13, 2011. On March 27, 2014, the South-East Asia region of world health organization (WHO) has been certified as 'polio free', meaning that transmission of wild polio virus has been interrupted in this block of 11 countries, including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste for the last 3 years.
India is mindful of the risks that persist, both on account of indigenous transmission and importation from these countries where persistent ongoing transmission still persists and therefore high level of immunity in the population needs to be maintained. Therefore, the Government of India continues to vaccinate children with polio vaccine on the occasion of National Immunization Day (NID) and Sub-NID.