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Mozambique confirms first wild poliovirus case in 30 years:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Issues related to Health.



Mozambique has identified its first case of wild poliovirus Type 1 this week after a child contracted the disease.

  • It is the country’s first such case since 1992 and the second imported case of wild poliovirus in Southern Africa this year.
  • An outbreak was reported in Malawi earlier this year.



As of today, wild poliovirus is endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


What is Polio?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines polio or poliomyelitis as “a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children.”

Transmission: The virus is transmitted by person-to-person, spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g. contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.


When is a country declared polio free?

There are three variants of the poliovirus, numbered 1 to 3. For a country to be declared polio-free, the wild transmission of all three kinds has to be stopped. For eradication, cases of both wild and vaccine-derived polio infection have to be reduced to zero.

  • India was declared polio-free in January 2014, after three years of zero cases, an achievement that is widely believed to have been spurred by the successful Pulse Polio campaign.


Efforts by India in this regard:

  • Under the Pulse Polio programme, all states and Union Territories have developed Rapid Response Teams (RRT) to respond to any polio outbreak in the country.
  • In 2014, the government made the Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) mandatory for those travelling between India and polio-affected countries, such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Syria and Cameroon.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that India launched the Pulse Polio immunisation programme in 1995, after a resolution for a global initiative of polio eradication was adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1988? Know more about it here.



Prelims Link:

  1. Countries where the Wild polio is still present.
  2. What is an attenuated (weakened) vaccine-virus?
  3. When a country is certified as free of wild polio?

Mains Link:

What do multiple outbreaks of Polio in the vicinity mean for India? Should India worry? Discuss the achievements made by Polio immunization programme so far and what should be the way forward.


[Q.1) Consider the following statements:
    1. India was declared polio-free in January 2022.
    2. In 2014, the government of India made the Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) mandatory for those travelling between India and polio-affected countries.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

    1. 1 only
    2. 2 only
    3. Both
    4. None. ]


Sources: Indian Express.