India became officially free of polio last month. It is now three years since its last case was recorded. The health minister praised the efforts of more than two million vaccinators who had made this possible.
India had launched its anti-polio campaign in 1995. An important role was played by religious leaders who gave reassurance to people who were suspicious about the immunisations. The country now hopes to eradicate measles by 2020.
Over the border in Pakistan, it is a different story. Along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, it is one of the last three countries in the world where the disease is still endemic. Indeed, it is on the increase. The practice of murdering vaccination workers does not help.
Last month, three were killed in Karachi, as were six policemen on their way to guard the teams. Those who oppose the immunisation programme claim it is a Western plot to sterilise Muslims. Now India is worried that the disease my re-enter the country from Pakistan.