Monday, 22 April 2024

“Victory over Polio-Lessons Learnt”

Prof. H A Upendra, Former Dean, Veterinary College, Bangalore and an Active Rotarian of Rotary club, Bangalore North, gave a special lecture on the occasion of National Immunization day on January 20, 2022. The title of the presentation was “Victory over Polio-Lessons Learnt”.  This lecture was one of the series of events at the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS)to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence – Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava.  The program began with a brief introduction to the speaker by Dr D.S Shankar Rao.

Prof Upendra mentioned that children less than 5 years are more prone to be affected with Polio Virus. Polio affects1 in 200children and could lead to irreversible paralysis, even death. He mentioned the enormous efforts put in to eradicate Polio, improve Child health. He said that the global Polio eradication initiative started in 1988 with 3,50,000 cases. Being one of the most affected, India became a polio-free nation in 2014, Rukshar was the last child affected. Rotary club, WHO, CDC, and UNICEF have taken significant initiatives to eradicate Polio worldwide. He said there was nearly a 99.9% reduction in polio cases in 2021, and only 5 Polio cases were reported, four from Afghanistan and one from Pakistan. Significant steps are taken to eradicate Polio are going to high-risk areas, working in conflict zones, engaging and mobilizing communities, tracking and reaching nomadic populations, etc. Rotary Club is the major contributor to this effort.