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Polio eradication in India is strongly led by the Government of India, supported by partners. The partnership is spearheaded by the World Health Organisation through its National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP), UNICEF, Rotary and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other partners include the CORE Group Polio Project, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Global Poverty Project. Each partner has clear responsibilities - the Government of India is responsible for implementation, direction, funding and vaccines. NPSP is responsible for disease surveillance and research. UNICEF, supported by CORE in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, is responsible for communication, social mobilization and monitoring. Rotary is responsible for advocacy and fundraising, and supports with IEC, health camps and multiple Rotary immunization booths during Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs).
The partnership operates at the national, state, district and block levels. At the district level, the partners meet before an immunization round to contribute information to local micro-plans that set out exactly where each vaccination team is to go and how many houses they are to visit on each day. During the round, the partners attend a debriefing meeting each night, chaired by the District Magistrate or the District’s Chief Medical Officer to ensure Real-time Monitoring can occur - what went right, what went wrong and corrective measures and priorities for the next day. Regular meetings are held between partners at the state and national levels, including monthly meetings with polio partners and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and bi-monthly Social Mobilization Working Group meetings, chaired jointly by UNICEF and Government of India and attended by CORE, Rotary, NPSP and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Rotary has contributed more than US$1 billion worldwide to polio eradication, and more than US$158 million in India. Multiple Rotarians have made significant individual contributions, with the Aditya Birla Group contributing US$6 million, Mr Harshad Mehta donating more than US$3.5 million and Ms Usha Mittal US$1.5 million.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is a major contributor to the global polio eradication effort, funding approximately half of the UNICEF India polio programme in 2012. With the polio programme in India increasingly supporting Routine Immunization efforts, BMGF is chairing a new Routine Immunization Communications Working Group that includes the Government of India, UNICEF, WHO-NPSP, CORE and the International Technical Support Unit.