PCI Helped to Eradicate Polio in India
According to the World Health Organization, India was one of four countries worldwide endemic for polio, meaning they had never successfully stopped transmission of the wild polio virus throughout the entire country.
Those condemned to endure polio infection can expect a lifetime of trying to make ends meet with disfigured and often useless limbs. Victims are often forced to beg on the street for survival. This is a reality made all the more painful because polio is entirely preventable.
On a trip to India, one PCI volunteer met Iada Shad and his son Sazid Shah, 26, both crippled by polio. Even though neither could walk or travel without a walking aid, both volunteered their time for PCI visiting local community members who had yet to take part in the polio immunization campaign.
As a lead partner of the Group Polio Project, PCI has been building enhanced community awareness and mobilization to increase participation in prevention and immunization in three high-prevalence districts in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
PCI recruits and trains community mobilization coordinators, assists in organizing and facilitating health camps where vaccines are provided by the Government of India as well as promotes hygienic practices to reduce new infections, especially in children under 5 years of age. The health camps also include malaria prevention, vitamin A supplementation, de-worming treatment, and provide access to physicians, nurses, and auxiliary nurse midwives. This creates a more holistic approach to improving the health of vulnerable communities.
Families in high-risk polio areas are reached via 650 Community Mobilization Coordinators (CMCs). They use various tools including one-to-one meetings, group meetings and meetings with community leaders. Since the mobilization members are from the same community, with the help of local supporters, printed FAQs, and appeals from religious leaders, they have been successful in converting resistance into acceptance. Today, more than 300,000 families are educated about polio, and monitored every month.
As a result of PCI’s and others’ tireless efforts, as of February 2012, there have been no confirmed cases of polio for the first time in twelve months in India.
PCI works in vulnerable communities to improve health and create long-term change by helping people help themselves. For 50 years, thousands of dedicated individuals and groups have worked to make this vision a reality.
PCI is currently active in 16 countries, helping close to 7 million individuals across a broad spectrum of needs, including:
- Women, Children & Youth
- Disease Prevention, incl. malaria and HIV/AIDS
- Humanitarian Assistance
- Community Health & Development
- Food & Nutrition Security
- Economic Empowerment
- Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
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Charity of the Year
PCI’s mission is to prevent disease, improve community health and promote sustainable development worldwide. Motivated by our concern for the world’s most vulnerable children, families and communities, PCI envisions a world where abundant resources are shared, communities are able to provide for the health and well-being of their members, and children and families can achieve lives of hope, good health and self-sufficiency.
- This Achievement raised $6,967,394
- This charity raised $33,000,000 in the past year
- This Achievement helped 172 Million people
- This charity helped 6.7 Million people in the past year
- Polio is considered eradicated in India due in part to PCI’ s extraordinary efforts in some of the most endemic areas.