Still Waging War Against Polio in India

In the land of bricks and bangles, where religious divides can fuel resistance to vaccines, fighting polio takes persistence and persuasion



India is one of the four remaining countries where transmission of polio has never been halted. But the world's second most populous country appears on the cusp of reaching that goal, with only a single case so far in 2011. India - with the help of experts from the World Health Organization - is attacking the problem hard, mounting extra immunization rounds almost monthly in parts of the country deemed to be of highest risk for continued spread of the paralyzing virus.

One of those areas is the province of Uttar Pradesh, in northwestern India. There high birth rates, large numbers of migrant workers and resistance within the Muslim community combine to challenge vaccination efforts.

Some of those migrant workers toil at in the region's many brick kilns. And in the city of Firozabad, many families work at the business of making bangles, the ubiquitous glass baubles for which the city is known.

Finding all the children and persuading all the parents requires strategy, sensitivity and perseverance.

Presented by

Helen Branswell is the medical reporter for The Canadian Press and a Nieman Global Health Fellow at Harvard.

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Global

Just In