US health officials celebrate polio victory in India as funding cuts loom

House Republicans last year voted to cut funding for global health by more than $1 billion from 2010 levels. A House and Senate conference committee last month ended up agreeing to slash President Obama's request for $9.1 billion by 9.2 percent, or $840 million.

The U.S. has spent more than $2 billion around the world since the World Health Organization launched the global campaign to eradicate the disease in 1988, according to the Post. In India, De Cock said, the CDC "worked side-by-side with the government of India in designing and maintaining WHO's highly effective national polio surveillance system" while "CDC disease detectives and laboratory experts [were] on the ground working with global and local partners to investigate outbreaks and rapidly stop their spread."

Back at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, he said, health experts "collect and analyze the latest information on eradication progress and share with those on the ground so strategies are adjusted based on the science."

"This is an important milestone," he said, "and to protect it, India will continue meticulous monitoring and intensive childhood vaccination against polio."

When India launched its campaign to eradicate the disease in 1995, the nation was seeing between 50,000 and 150,000 cases a year, the Post reported. Friday's milestone will leave only three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan — with endemic cases of polio.