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‘Never give up’: why the world’s struggle against polio is not over

Vaccination levels in 2021 fell to their lowest in 15 years and now cases are breaking out in countries thought free of the disease

As an eight-year-old, Anita Ghai was buried neck-deep in a mud grave during a solar eclipse, while her mother was pressured to chant verses from Hindu scripture – ostensibly to cure Ghai of polio, which she had contracted at the age of two. “I still carry guilt – for what my mother had to endure because of me,” says Ghai, now 67 and a dean at Delhi’s Ambedkar University.

Such nightmares, Ghai thought, were over when in March 2014, the World Health Organization declared India – home to half of the world’s polio cases in 2009 – free from the disease. Yet, eight years later, a worrying sequence of events is playing out around the world. Pakistan has witnessed a string of fresh cases, ending a 15-month period without a single new instance of polio. The wild virus from Pakistan has led to infections in Mozambique and Malawi, previously free of the disease.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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