Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Immunization Activities in Chandigarh

We spent the immunization days in city of Chandigarh, capital of Punjab, where eight polio cases were identified last year out of 667 nationwide.

I was very impressed with the level of professionalism and commitment on the Indian side. People were just phenomenal. The local health workers and volunteers were well prepared and efficient and very receptive to our assistance. They were happy to have us there and willingly included us in their work. It really felt like a team effort.

During the 'mop-up' phase, our team visited a train station because it is thought that polio moves around with migrant workers. Local high-school students were helping families with small children off the train and bringing them to the immunization booth. We would have missed some children if those students weren't helping out.

Going house to house, a man with a loadspeaker sang popular songs to attract attention. Then, between songs he called on people to bring in their children. He was very effective.

India has made tremendous progress in containing the poliovirus. Out of 667 cases of wild polio last year, 90% are confined to the States of Bihar (61) and Uttar Pradesh (540).

The fight against polio is not an Indian problem. It is a world problem. It belongs to all of us. India is simply one of the battle lines. If we don’t stop it in India, we’ll have it in California. We have to stay on top of it. If we don't we'll have lost 20 years of work.
To view more photos from our NID trip in India, please visit:

Jon Deisher, Eagle River, Alaska
Past President of RC of Anchorage


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