— WHO (@WHO) January 13, 2014
India says so long to polio. As recently as 2009, India had 741 reported cases of polio. Today it appears to have eradicated the disease, completing three years without a new case. The unique challenges faced by India included high population density and birth rate, poor sanitation, widespread diarrhea, inaccessible terrain and reluctance of certain Muslim communities to accept the polio vaccine. Patralekha Chatterjee reported on the challenges and also on what worked.
India’s polio campaign gathered momentum when it focused on marginalised and mobile people, and began working in earnest with religious leaders in Muslim communities to urge parents to immunise their children. [BBC]
Still work to be done. The Wall Street Journal interviews Mathew Varghese, one of India’s leading polio surgeons, about what is being done for polio survivors.
WSJ: How important is that, in the face of the victory, we remember those who have suffered from the disease?
Mr. Varghese: If you look at the irony of the situation: the disease is preventable, the deformity is also preventable. Because they have deformed feet, deformed legs and deformed hands, they are not able to go to school, they are not able to go to work, they are not educated. So there is a disability that results from there and this disability is also preventable. As a society we have failed on every count. So it is our responsibility to take care of these patients that are out there in the community. [WSJ]
A graphic illustrates the extent of reported polio cases in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the disease remains endemic.
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 13, 2014
The World’s Biggest Whiskey Guzzler. Due partly to its large population, India consumes about half the world’s whiskey, as illustrated by Quartz’s infographic below. Broken down per capita, though, it comes in at ninth place with France in first. [Quartz]
— Anup Kaphle (@AnupKaphle) January 13, 2014
Cool costs a lot. The iPhone 5s is least affordable in India, reports The New York Times. In the words of a Mysore phone sales exec, “Nokia’s entry-level phones cost 2,000 rupees. For that amount, you can only buy iPhone screen protectors and protective cases in our store.” That isn’t stopping some Indians from handing over a big chunk of change for those iPhones. [NYT]
Sawant takes office in Seattle and donates part of her salary. Hundreds packed Seattle City Hall last week for the inauguration of Ed Murray, the city’s first openly gay mayor, and to see the newest city council member, Socialist Kshama Sawant, who has attracted international attention. Watch her speech (transcript), which starts after her ceremonial oath of office around the 29-minute mark, below. Sawant has announced that she’s donating $15K of her nearly $120K salary to “15 Now,” a grass-roots campaign for a $15/hr. minimum wage. [Seattle Channel, Q13FOX News]