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New Delhi: This last Wednesday India completed five years of being Polio free. Polio in the 90s was the biggest disease in India affecting as many as 50000 children a year.
The last reported case in India was Howrah District in West Bengal on January 13 five years ago. While, the last case in Delhi was in June 2009.
India has achieved a remarkable result as in 2009, the country had half of the share of polio cases existing in the world.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the country polio-free after it completed the mandatory period of three years without a single case being reported.
India’s neighbors like Pakistan, Afghanistan and other sub-continent countries are still fighting the battles against this disease which is why India cannot be complacent on the basis of this remarkable achievement.
The only case came close was last year when a two-year-old girl in Delhi was diagnosed with rare P2 stain virus. But doctors said there were one in million possibilities that this virus could turn into a complete polio case. Still India along with oral vaccine introduced injectable inactivated polio vaccine(IPV). The IPV vaccine makes it impossible to contract vaccine derived polio-like what happened with 2-year-old Delhi girl.
This is an example that with a set strategy and focus, any goal can be achieved. With the same intensity, India can get the favorable results in other public health sector.
India has a huge population and a breaking of any epidemic always has much bigger impact than what it can have in other nations. A large portion of this population does not even have the access to the basic medical facilities and living conditions. It means they are more likely to catch a disease and then they do not have the resources to counter that.
Take Dengue for example. Every season it affects thousands of people in the capital only and somehow there has been no way to stop this. It happens every year and then all our system does is the damage control.
If the approach followed in the eradication of polio, is used to counter other diseases as well, it will be a lot beneficial to the society.
Indian government deserves credit for the work done in making the country polio-free but more is expected in the public health sector.
The books which were shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize 2021 are:
1. The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
2. Bewilderment by Richard Powers
3. Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
4. No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockdwood
5. A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
6. The Promise by Damon Galgut
Inspiration4 is the first human spacecraft to revolve around the Earth with just private people on board. The mission created awareness about the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and raised funds to support the expansion of St. Jude's childhood cancer research programme. Inspiration4 is headed by Jared Isaacman, the CEO of Shift4 Payments, who has over a decade of expertise as a pilot, including training in military aircraft.
Isaacman arranged for the trip and its four seats by SpaceX, with two of the seats being given to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Hayley Arceneaux, a medical assistant at the hospital who is also a bone cancer survivor, is chosen by the hospital to go on the trip. The second ticket was given away as part of a drive titled St. Jude Mission: Inspired, which raised US$200 million for the hospital. An unidentified person won the seat from Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University. For personal reasons, he chose to donate the seat to his friend, U.S. Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, who was also one of the 72,000 people who entered the raffle. In a competition patterned like "Shark Tank," Shift4 Payments chose entrepreneur Sian Proctor to join them on the trip.
During the three-day trip, no professional astronauts will be on board, making it the first time this has happened. | Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash
During the three-day trip, no professional astronauts will be on board, making it the first time this has happened. According to Wikipedia, all four crew members received commercial astronaut training by SpaceX, which encompassed lessons in orbital mechanics, operating in a microgravity environment, stress testing, emergency preparedness training, and mission simulations. Additionally, the crew completed over 90 different training programmes and practised what to do in the case of an emergency while in orbit. The drills included spending 30 consecutive hours in the simulator, going through various anomalies that might occur during their trip.
A five-episode television series, Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, will be shown on Netflix in September 2021 as part of the mission documentation. Although early space tourism flights may be beyond the grasp of all but the wealthiest of individuals, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk believes that these pioneering missions will lay the foundation for more frequent and cheaper journeys to space in the future. If the Inspiration4 mission is successful, it will be a milestone moment in the history of space travel.
Keywords: SpaceX, Elon Musk, Inspiration 4, cancer, children, astronaut, space