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
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.
> 90%coverage with three doses of polio vaccines in 22 counties in the Western Pacific Region reported in 2016Data source: HIIP
> 12,000stool samples are tested annually for poliovirus in 43 laboratories in the Western Pacific RegionData source: Polio bulletin
5countries in the Western Pacific Region have confirmed to retain type 2 poliovirus in 16 Polio Essential FacilitiesData source: GPEI