Polio-free certification of the World Health Organization South-East Asia Region

WHO South-East Asia Region is officially certified polio-free

A quarter of the world population lives in the 11 countries of the Region – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. With this certification on 27 March 2014, 80% of the world’s population now lives in polio-free certified Regions.

Bangladesh: home-grown solutions helped stop polio and keep this country polio-free

Once known for its poverty and dense population – is now one of the world’s vaccination stars. The country’s success in protecting its people from vaccine-preventable disease has its roots in the late 1950s, with campaigns against tuberculosis. By 1979, Bangladesh entered a new era of vaccination through the Extended Program on Immunization (EPI).

Vigilance is key to keeping polio out of Nepal

Sensitive surveillance and strong routine immunization have kept Nepal polio-free

High up in the Nepalese district of Humla, where most villages lie at between 3 000 and 5 000 metres above sea level, the highest district in Nepal, a female community health volunteer visits five-year-old Kiran* at his home. Kiran is complaining that he is unable to move his legs and is starting to become paralysed in his arms as well.

Polio eradication in Indonesia - Surveillance, immunization and community support

Parents and children waiting for polio vaccine.
WHO/Nursila Dewi

Right after the 1988 World Health Assembly passed a resolution to eradicate polio, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched. This initiative drove WHO to support countries, including Indonesia, to further develop their polio control capacity in any necessary aspects, from laboratory reagents to a national campaign.

Recent events

fact buffet

Widespread Testing

16WHO accredited polio laboratories ensure quality testing of field specimens from all of WHO South-East Asia Region countries.

Network Speed

87%of AFP (acute flaccid paralysis) stool specimens were sent to the polio laboratory network within 72 hours of collection in SEAR between 2011 and 2013.

Prompt Results

14 days after reaching the laboratories, virus culture results were provided between 2011 and 2013.


Immunization and Vaccine Development
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia
Indraprastha Estate
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
New Delhi 10002

Telephone: +91 11 2337 0804
Fax: +91 11 2337 0106
Email: searivd@searo.who.int