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Fighting polio in India

In India, one of four countries where polio remains endemic, a flood of health workers are visiting millions of homes in hopes of inoculating 172 million children.

An Indian boy receives anti-polio vaccination drops from an Indian health worker as part of a polio vaccination campaign in Amritsar on Jan. 23. Polio is a pandemic threat in four countries, namely India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, compared to 125 countries in 1988. There were 1,606 global cases of polio in 2009, down from about 350,000 in 1988.

Narinder Nanu / AFP

Health workers return after administering polio vaccine drops to children in shanty town in Allahabad, India, on Jan. 24. In just five days last month, more than 2 million workers visited 68 million homes to inoculate 172 million children.

Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP

An Indian child is administered a polio vaccine during a polio eradication campaign in Bangalore, India, on Jan. 23.

Aijaz Rahi / AP

A polio awareness campaign poster is pasted on a small shop as a boy fetches water from a ground pump in Kosi village, some 111 miles from Patna, India, on Jan. 24.

Altaf Qadri / AP

Salit Kumar, a polio vaccination team member, pushes a bicycle with a box full of polio vaccines after crossing the Kosi river on his way to Tilkeshwar village for a vaccination campaign at dawn in Kosi village, some 113 miles from Patna, India on Jan. 23. An effective campaign by the government and international aid groups is finally driving polio out of India. Across India, one of four nations where polio remains endemic, only 42 cases were recorded in 2010, a drop of 94 percent from the year before.

Altaf Qadri / AP

Polio vaccination team member Sanjana Shoba administers polio drops to a child during a vaccination campaign in Tilkeshwar village, 125 miles from Patna, India, on Jan. 23.

Altaf Qadri / AP

Polio vaccination team member Sanjana Shoba administers polio drops to a child during a vaccination campaign in Tilkeshwar village on Jan. 23.

Altaf Qadri / AP

Polio vaccination team member Sanjana Shoba marks the finger of a child with indelible ink after she was administered polio drops at Tilkeshwar village on Jan. 23.

Altaf Qadri / AP

A boy stands near a door marked with the polio vaccination history of the household, on the outskirts of Ghaziabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Jan. 25.

Manish Swarup / AP

Polio vaccination team members update their records after administering polio drops to a child, center, on the outskirts of Ghaziabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Manish Swarup / AP

A man who contracted polio walks on crutches in the village of Kosi, 113 miles from Patna, India.

Altaf Qadri / AP

A polio vaccination team member asks whether a child on a train has been given polio drops at the railway station in Patna, India.

Altaf Qadri / AP