April 12, 1955: Jewish-American scientist Jonas Salk announces his invention of a polio vaccine. He is asked to get it patented, to which his reply is, “Can the sun be patented?” He is then asked to get it patented for the Soviet Union. He refuses!
January 13, 2014: India declares itself a polio-free country for the third consecutive year without a single new case of the disease and braced itself for the March-end review by WHO to declare the entire south-east Asia region poliofree.
And not a single case of polio has been detected in the last three years. This is one of India’s monumental and biggest milestone achieved, through a massive and sustained immunization program.
January 13, 2014: In Pakistan, since September 2013, more than a dozen polio vaccinators or their security personnel have been killed in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in North-Western Pakistan and Karachi in the south, while Polio cases in Pakistan rose by 37 percent in 2011, the highest in the world. Five more paralytic polio cases were confirmed in Pakistan on January 11, 2014 taking the toll to 91. Of these, 65 are from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and 35 from North Waziristan Agency (NWA). As a result, about 300,000 children have not been immunized in a country that had 91 new cases confirmed last year – more than in the world’s other two polio endemic nations, Nigeria and Afghanistan.
A ban against polio drops was issued by Taliban warlords Hafiz Gulbahadur in NWA and the Mulla Nazir group of South Waziristan in 2012.
To eliminate the polio virus, it appears that this country will have to eradicate the Taliban virus!