Just five years ago, India was home to nearly half the global polio cases and considered one of the most technically difficult places to eradicate the disease, because of sanitation challenges and high-density population. India’s last case was reported in a young girl paralyzed by polio in West Bengal in January 2011. Could she be India’s last polio patient? Polio rises from the grave Meet the last person to have polio in India So how did the second most populous country in the world, considered the hardest place to end polio, become here are the findings free of the disease? Health workers determined that the children of migrants or those growing up in difficult-to-reach areas were not getting access to vaccines. So they deployed immunization efforts to reach the most vulnerable, according to UNICEF. India launched a massive effort involving a surveillance network and almost 2.3 million vaccine administrators, who identified communities falling through the cracks. To counter rumors and misgivings about the vaccine, social mobilizers, religious leaders and parents were included to increase understanding about immunizations. They also bolstered communication and outreach efforts that often included Bollywood celebrities and cricket players. The efforts combined government, various U.N. agencies as well as philanthropic organizations.
Global health success: India certified free of polio
Top L.A. County public health official announces he’s retiring
County public health official announces he’s retiring Comments 0 Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, speaks during a press conference at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles in September. (Al Seib / September 12, 2013) Also March 27, 2014, 12:26 p.m. The head of Los Angeles County’s public health department has announced his intention to retire. In a letter sent to department employees Thursday, department director Jonathan Fielding wrote, “After considerable thought, I have decided to leave County service when a successor, whom I understand will be identified through a nationwide executive search, is ready to assume the post.” He did not explain the reasons for his departure, but said he plans to “return to UCLA to help train future health leaders and do research on how we can be even more effective.” Fielding was appointed to the post in 2006. He is one of the highest-paid county department heads, with a salary of $309,494. The public health department has about 4,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $750 million. It is tasked with a wide range of health and safety measures, including inspecting restaurants, investigating disease outbreaks and running a network of public health clinics.