The Diplomat reports that India has completed its first polio-free year in the country’s history. As the World Health Organization (WHO) notes, this marks significant progress for a country that in 1994 experienced 4,791 cases a year. The polio-free year means that India will no longer be considered a “polio-endemic” country, leaving its South Asian neighbors, Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as Nigeria, as the remaining nations with this label.
As noted by Harvard professor, Jay Winsten, a persistent problem in the remaining country is one of attitudes and behaviors, with resistance from local and national political figures to polio vaccinations. Prof Winsten also regards as critical the funding shortfall of $945 million in 2012-13. This demonstrates that successful campaigns take into the relationship between the desired behavior change and the macro influences, including policy, political and social factors.