Wild poliovirus has not been found in India since 13 January 2011 meaning that, from that date, India is no longer a country where polio is endemic. With this achievement, it is hoped that soon the entire South-East Asia Region can be considered certifiably free from polio. A commission of experts will meet at the WHO offices at the end of March to determine the polio status for the region.
As 13 January 2013 passes, India and the South-East Asia Region celebrate the second year in history when there have been no new cases of wild poliovirus reported in the region. We are encouraged by the continued commitment of not only the government of India, but by all Member States of the region and the partners supporting the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, mainly US Centers for Disease Control, the Gates Foundation, Rotary International, UNICEF and WHO.
The Vision of a Polio-free South-East Asia
Eleven countries in WHO’s South-East Asia Region are now on track to declaring the Region Polio-free, this was recognized during an event at the WHO’s Regional Committee Meeting in Yogyakarta, on 5 September 2012. The last case of wild poliovirus in the Region was reported on 13 January 2011 in India, making regional polio free certification possible in early 2014. However, the Region remains at risk with poliovirus circulating in the endemic countries - Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
WHO announced that India was taken off the list of polio endemic countries on 25 February 2012. The announcement was made public during a Polio Summit organized by Rotary International and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India.