Expanded programme on immunization

What is polio?

    Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease caused by     a virus, mainly affecting children under 5 years of age.

    The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and     water. Most infected people have no symptoms, but can     transmit infection to others by excreting the virus in
    their faeces. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible     paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when     their breathing muscles become immobilized.

    There is no cure for polio; it can be prevented by     vaccination.

Global eradication of polio

    In 1988, following the World Health Assembly’s resolution,     the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was     established with an ultimate goal to eradicate poliomyelitis     globally.

    Since that time the number of polio endemic countries has     decreased from 125 to three; the number of polio cases     has decreased by 99.9%; 16 million paralysis and 1.5 million     deaths due to poliovirus have been prevented.

    With 22 polio cases reported in 2017 (the historically lowest
    number) the world is as close to global eradication of polio     as it never been before.

Eradication of polio in Western Pacific Region

    The Western Pacific Region was certified polio free
    on 29 October 2000.

    The last indigenous case of wild poliovirus in the
    Western Pacific Region was reported in Cambodia in 1997.
    Since certification in 2000, the Region has experienced eight
    polio events/outbreaks due to importation of wild poliovirus
    or emergence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus.
    Thanks to the rigorous efforts of public health workers, all
    events/outbreaks were rapidly responded and stopped.

    The WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific supports
    the countries and areas in maintaining polio-free status
    in line with four objectives of the Polio Endgame in the
    Western Pacific Region 2013–2018 guiding document.

Poliomyelitis (polio)

fact buffet


> 90%coverage with three doses of polio vaccines in 22 counties in the Western Pacific Region reported in 2016

Data source: HIIP


> 12,000stool samples are tested annually for poliovirus in 43 laboratories in the Western Pacific Region

Data source: Polio bulletin


5countries in the Western Pacific Region have confirmed to retain type 2 poliovirus in 16 Polio Essential Facilities

Data source: GPEI