United Nations Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner and Board Member N. R. Narayana Murthy, a leader in India’s technology sector, today issued the following statement on marking a historic year in which no child has been paralyzed by polio in India.
“We have seen many successes in the fight to end polio, but halting the disease in India is a major milestone. For decades, the Government of India, along with support from Rotary International, the United Nations and other partners have administered large-scale immunization campaigns to stop children from being crippled by the debilitating disease.
“Today we stand with our partners in the international immunization community to celebrate this historic milestone and congratulate the government, health workers, volunteers and the communities of India who made this achievement possible.
“Ensuring that children of all backgrounds receive the same protection from a preventable disease is the cornerstone of polio eradication and the ultimate goal of all vaccination programs. India has shown how this can be done in some of the most challenging settings. India now joins the nations of the world that have stopped polio and offers a more promising tomorrow for future generations. We want to encourage India to keep the same momentum for the elimination of measles—another preventable disease.
“Until polio is eradicated globally, it poses a threat everywhere. Of the three remaining polio-endemic countries, Pakistan and Nigeria are now the key focus of polio eradication efforts. We have the tools necessary to finish the job, but we can’t do it alone. We congratulate our international partners, the UN, and friends like Rotary International, for their historic efforts.
“Together, with your support, we can change the course of polio and stop it from paralyzing another child.”