Log out
My profile and settings
My bookmarks
Comment history
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign in to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
0
0
Back to profile
Comment Items
You have not left any comments yet.
title
in reply to
name
description
Saved Posts
You haven’t bookmarked any posts yet.
“At 19, while still a college student, Yvette started experimenting with treating nearby lake water with an ultraviolet water purifier.”
watch video
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Sign up
Personal Information
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Cancel
Save
Address
Cancel
Save
Email and Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Send me Gates Notes survey emails
On
Off
Send me the weekly Top of Mind newsletter
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Interests
Select interests to personalize your profile and experience on Gates Notes.
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Account Deactivation
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process.
If you would like to permanently delete your Gates Notes account and remove it’s content, please send us a request here.
Polio
Meeting the Musahar
A trip to a remote corner of India taught me a powerful lesson about what it will take to wipe out polio.
|
0

Whenever someone asks me why I believe it’s possible to eradicate polio, I tell them about my 2010 trip to India to visit one of the country’s lowest castes—the Musahar.

Today, India is polio free. But less than a decade ago, more than half the world’s cases of polio could be found in India. At the time, many health experts said that India would be the last place on Earth to stop polio because its high birth rate, poor sanitation, and population density allowed the disease to flourish.

So how did they wipe out the disease?

Mobile device users: To view the virtual reality film below, click here to open YouTube.
Note: This is a virtual reality film that you can view using a VR headset, or in your browser as a 360* video. Learn more

The answer can be found in the remote marshlands of the Kosi River in the Indian state of Bihar. The region is home to one of the poorest, most underserved castes in India, the Musahar. In 2010, vaccinating the Musahar and other people living in remote, high-risk areas was one of the biggest obstacles India faced in its long campaign to end the paralyzing disease. Thousands of children were being missed during the national immunization drives, allowing the disease to continue to spread.

In response, the Indian government launched an all-out effort to reach every child, employing a new communication campaign to mobilize support for polio immunization and better maps to ensure that no family was missed. They deployed more than 2 million vaccinators who covered every speck of the country, including the Musahar village I visited, which was often inaccessible because of flooding from the Kosi River. (One of the most inspiring photographs of that time was an image of polio workers wading waste deep in water to reach remote villages with the polio vaccine.)


Meeting the Musahar

By 2014, India achieved its goal of being polio free, proving that the paralyzing disease could be defeated in the most complicated circumstances. With new ties to even the remotest communities, health workers are providing children with much more than the polio vaccine. They continue to work with local communities to improve the delivery of other critical health services, including maternal and newborn care, as well as vaccinations for measles and other preventable diseases.

India’s experience continues to be an inspiration for the world’s final push to wipe out polio in the three countries where it endures: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Based on the latest figures, in 2017, there were just 21 identified cases of wild poliovirus in the world—the lowest number ever—down from 350,000 cases per year when the global polio eradication effort launched in 1988.

That’s an incredible achievement. But now is no time for complacency. If polio is a threat anywhere in the world, it is a threat to us all. That’s why it’s more important than ever for the world to continue to support the millions of vaccinators who are working tirelessly to finish the job. Their dream, as is mine, is to see the day that polio is defeated.

 

Read this next
NEXT
Comments
posting ...
Please verify your email in order to make comments. Click here to resend verification email
Sorry, duplicate comments are not allowed. 
Sorry, that HTML is not allowed. 
Sorry, something went wrong. 
In order to comment you must be a Gates Notes Insider. Please sign up or log in to continue. 
Be the first to leave a comment.
Comment Locked
Comments more than 2 months old are locked. For more information, contact us.
Report
Delete Comment?
Deleting this comment will remove replies to this comment by you and others as well. This action cannot be undone.
Delete Comment
Why do you want to report this comment?
It's annoying or not interesting
It's abusive and/or vulgar
It's spam
Report Comment
Your report has been submitted.
Close
Save
Cancel
Thanks for visiting the Gates Notes.
We'd like your feedback. Yes, I'll take the survey No thanks
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
SIGN UP
Already joined?
Log in
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already joined? Log in
LOG IN
SIGN UP
Use your social account:
Or sign up with email:
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Why are we collecting this information? Gates Notes may send a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. Additionally, some campaigns and content may only be available to users in certain areas. Gates Notes will never share and distribute your information with external parties.
Bill may send you a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. We will never share your information.
Sign up
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Street address
City
postal_town
State Zip code
administrative_area_level_2
Country
Data
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

BACK
Forgot your password?
Enter the email you used to sign up and a reset password link will be sent to you.
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. Please continue to the log in page.
Log in
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
This email is already registered
Finish
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
You're in!
You're in!
Please check your email and click the link provided to verify your account.
Didn't get an email from us? Resend verification email
Upload a profile picture
Choose image to upload
Uploading...
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Email and notification settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Select your interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Finish
Confirm Account Deactivation
Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent