Country's last polio victim needs surgery

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 12 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Three-year-old Ruksa Khatun from Howrah in Kolkata, who is hopefully India's last polio victim, may need a surgery to walk normally. The wild polio virus afflicted her in January, 2011 after which no other case has been reported from the rest of the country.

Khatun limps as her right leg is now shorter than her left leg, affecting her balance while walking. The virus has also weaked the leg and she often suffers from acute pain. She may need a surgery on her affected right foot as it is getting twisted, short and weak. Doctors say she stands to lose the limb if not operated.

Recently, polio survivor and crusader Ramesh Ferris met Khatun at Panchla, Kolkata. Ferris said, "The world has its fingers crossed that Rukhsar will be India's last-ever case of polio. The polio drive, however, must continue despite all challenges." He expressed hope that India will be able to achieve the polio free certificate in 2014 provided current efforts to contain polio virus are sustained. "This includes increased surveillance, availability of funds and political support," he said.

Ferris himself had contracted polio at the age of six months in Coimbatore, where he was born. The virus had left his legs paralyzed for life. He was raised in an orphanage in India and later adopted by Canadian family before he learned to walk with crutches and braces

Deepak Kapur, Chairman, Rotary's India National PolioPlus Committee said "Despite strong progress over the last two years, the programme must not lose sight of the facts. Polio virus threat has decreased within but the threats of import from polio endemic countries still struggling to contain the virus loom large."

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