Nearly 50 years after a vaccine for Polio was developed in the United States, the Polio virus still finds refuge in some of the world’s most vulnerable places. Into India’s most impoverished neighborhoods, The Final Inch follows the massive - and yet highly personalized - mission to eradicate Polio from the planet. One of history’s most feared diseases, now largely forgotten, Polio has become a disease of the world’s poor.
Nominated for a 2009 Academy Awards, The Final Inch follows a quiet army going door-to-door, and slum to slum, to reach the last unvaccinated children. The global strategy aimed at hundreds of millions of children, becomes intensely personal for the vaccinators working to save them. In the most marginalized Muslim enclaves, children are hidden from vaccinators because American-made medicines are not to be trusted. Others are deliberately kept behind closed doors as a form of social protest by their frustrated communities. For the world’s poorest, saying ‘no’ to vaccinations is sometimes their only political voice.
The Final Inch is also a profound testament to those working on the front lines of public health in the backwaters of our world. Recalling the painful legacy of Polio in America are older survivors in a wheelchair and an Iron Lung. Everyone’s stories challenge our most basic assumptions about disease, poverty and our own health as a human right.