President Mukherjee applauded the efforts of various agencies including the government in ridding the country of polio.

He said this was a landmark achievement."We will need to keep up our watchfulness and preparedness and take all the precautions necessary to ensure there is no recurrence of this dreadful disease in our country," he said while addressing the Polio Free Conclave 2014, organised by the Rotary International here.

“India must assist other countries such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan in their fight against this disease,” he added.

President Mukherjee also presented mementos of appreciation and recognition to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and his predecessor A Ramadoss on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Azad said eradication of polio was a momentous and historic achievement. He thanked all the stakeholders and partners in this ‘challenging yet deeply satisfying’ journey.

"A 2.3 million strong team of polio workers, volunteers and 150,000 supervisors worked day and night for the success of the polio immunization rounds," he said.

Azad said the credit for successful polio campaign should go to the introduction of the new bivalent polio vaccine, which was indigenously developed for the first time.

(Agencies)

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