Bhutan certified polio-free

Bhutan is polio free
Bhutan is polio free

The World Health Organisation (WHO) certifies 11 countries including Bhutan as polio-free on Thursday (27 March).

Other countries receiving certification include Bangladesh, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

For such certification, all countries in a particular region need to have a three-year track record without a single case of wild polio, or polio that occurs naturally.

“As no single country can be certified as polio -free, a WHO Region is certified as a whole after all its countries avert new transmissions for at least three years,” WHO has stated in its website.

According to WHO, a total of 102 vaccination posts are operational along India’s international borders with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan, where nearly 2.9 million children have been vaccinated against polio so far since January 2012.

Since 2000, more than 10 billion doses of OPV were administered to over 2.5 billion children in the world, resulting in nearly 8.5 million polio cases being prevented. But according to a report in 2013, 655 VDPV cases were also detected during the period.

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