The last reported case of polio in India – could have been me

January 13, 2013 BY Devi R. Thomas

When I look at pictures of three-and-a-half-year-old Rukhsar, the last reported case of wild polio in India, all I can think is that could have been me. With her round brown face and her direct gaze, she even looks like I did when I was a toddler. My Indian parents who migrated to North America never received their polio vaccine when they were infants. When my sister and I were born, they proudly took us to receive our vaccine against a disease they had seen so many suffer from.

Rukhsar’s life is very different from mine. At the age of 2, she stood up for the first time. She walks with an unnoticeable slight limp. This is a major milestone for a child who was diagnosed with polio in her left limb at 18 months. Rukhsar is the image of polio eradication in India and abroad as she represents the last in a generation that will not have to see and may even forget this disease. Not just in West Bengal where Rukhsar is from, but all around the world, the lessons of what it takes to eradicate polio in a nation of over a billion people are being spread far and wide.

In an interview with The Hindu, Rukhsar’s father, Abdul Shah talks about his daughter and her role in public health history. The Hindu states, “Abdul Shah himself has been speaking to people in the area urging them to allow volunteers to administer the oral polio vaccine to their children. He regrets that his daughter missed out on the vaccine, recounting with horror, the long hours that Rukhsar's body burned with fever, her leg swollen as she lay listless at home.”

Our partners at UNICEF have volunteers in neighboring villages, yet none of them have ever met Rukhsar, or her family. But Rukhsar's photographs were part of awareness campaigns in all villages. News of her affliction have encouraged others to immunize. A concerted effort of health care workers, social mobilizers, UN agencies, USAID and the Indian government have resulted in India’s now 2 year anniversary of being polio free.

Let’s celebrate Rukhsar for her ability to thrive despite a challenging disease, but also for her role in changing the course of history to help give children a shot at a healthy life. A polio-free India is a critical step towards a polio-free world.


POSTED IN: Global Health


Submitted by ascas on: August 2, 2015 A simple bookmarking tool that makes it easy to save, organize and share your favorite web pages. Access your bookmarks from any computer, phone or tablet. Listango works on all modern web browsers… Provigil Online
Submitted by mausbhir on: August 2, 2015 Would not anyone loathe to buy an accident using your family members whilst upon Modafinil or perhaps become pregnant all of a sudden? It could occur unless you take the time to talk to your medical professional primary. Buy Modvigil Online
Submitted by mausbhir on: August 2, 2015 Buy Andriol (Testosterone Undecanoate 40mg from Organon) online without prescription,Worldpharmamarket offers cheap Andriol (Testosterone Undecanate) Purchase Andriol
Submitted by asas on: August 1, 2015 Do follow blog comment Backlinks aren’t everything in SEO, but these plays an important role in SEO. Through High PR Backlinks, Search Engines can not only check the popularity of a webpages based on the number and popularity of webpages which are linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority.
Submitted by ascas on: August 1, 2015 it's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information. Mike Dan Reviews of ESO Mastery guide download
Submitted by ascas on: August 1, 2015 Mike Dan on David Andrews Diabetes Destroyer program I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site.
Submitted by ascas on: July 31, 2015 Thanks a lot very much for the high quality and results-oriented help. I won’t think twice to endorse your blog post to anybody who wants and needs support about this area. Instant Muscle Hack System review
Submitted by Anonymous on: July 30, 2015 Keep up the fantastic piece of work, I read few posts on this internet site and I think that your web blog is really interesting and contains lots of superb information. hosting murah

Leave a Comment


Enter this word:

In This Section