Volume 101, Issue 4_Suppl
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



India achieved the title of a polio-free country in March 2014 after a prolonged battle with the poliovirus that threatened millions of children and paralyzed scores of them. Although there has been considerable documentation of the technical strategies applied over the years, not enough has been written on the other warfront that had opened, namely, the battle between the people and the polio eradication program. This article describes the immense people-driven challenges to the polio program and the need for tailor-made and novel responses. This is when the U.S. Agency for International Development–funded CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP)/India stepped in and started work in 1999. The project, a consortium of CORE Group member international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local NGOs, formed a bridge between communities and the government program. This article describes how CGPP/India listened to the families and communities who refused to participate in the polio eradication program and then strategically addressed their concerns. These lessons from India can benefit other public health priorities that require civil society involvement, as most public health efforts do.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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Supplemental materials

  • Received : 22 Nov 2018
  • Accepted : 30 Apr 2019
  • Published online : 03 Oct 2019
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