14 Jan 2014

India now over polio

8:32 am on 14 January 2014

India is marking three years since its last reported case of polio.

Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad hailed it as a "monumental milestone".

The World Health Organisation removed India from the list of polio-endemic countries in 2012. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria remain on it.

The agency is expected to formally certify India's polio-free status next month after testing its last samples.

The BBC reports only one case of polio was recorded in India in 2011, down from 741 in 2009. It came from the eastern state of West Bengal.

Polio is the second disease in India that has been eliminated through immunisation. Smallpox was eradicated in 1980.

Nearly 2.3 million volunteers vaccinate 170 million children under five years of age during every round of immunisation.