Certification of polio eradication is conducted on a regional basis. Each region can consider certification only when all countries in the area demonstrate the absence of wild poliovirus transmission for at least three consecutive years in the presence of certification standard surveillance.

In addition, all facilities holding wild poliovirus infectious and potentially infectious materials must have implemented bio-containment measures according to the Global action plan for laboratory containment of wild poliovirus (2003).



Year certified wild polio-free

WHO African Region 2020
WHO Region of the Americas 1994
WHO South-East Asia Region 2014
WHO European Region 2002
WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region
WHO Western Pacific Region 2000

Achieving certification of global polio eradication: criteria

In 1997, the Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis (GCC) finalized the criteria for certifying whether the goal of polio eradication is achieved.

In endemic regions:

  • achieve and sustain certification standard surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) at the national level
  • identify and close any gaps in surveillance performance at the sub-national level in all countries
  • increase the speed of surveillance and virological data analysis to ensure timely emergency response.
  • In certified polio-free regions:
  • maintain certification-standard surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis
  • ensure highest possible immunity levels against wild poliovirus
  • develop action plans for responding rapidly to importations of wild poliovirus
  • integrate AFP reporting into national surveillance mechanisms to respond to other important diseases.
  • reduce the time required for intratypic differentiation (ITD) results to be available from endemic areas
  • ITD capacity established in all polio reservoir countries
  • sustain the international capacity to process all specimens from AFP cases in WHO-accredited laboratories through global certification and oral polio vaccine (OPV) cessation.
  • further dissemination and national implementation of activities outlined in the Global action plan for laboratory containment of wild polioviruses 2003
  • complete laboratory survey and inventory activities in all polio-free countries
  • prepare for implementation of phase II laboratory containment activities prior to global certification
  • initiate phase II containment activities in all countries
  • complete biosafety level-3 (BSL-3)/polio containment in facilities producing IPV from wild poliovirus.
  • regional certification commissions (RCC) in the remaining three polio-endemic regions to train national certification commissions (NCC)
  • NCCs to collect, review and decide on the national documentation through consultations
  • The GCC to finalize:
  1. the data requirements for global certification from the three certified polio-free regions
  2. the role of environmental surveillance as a supplemental strategy
  3. mechanisms for reviewing and verifying documentation on the containment of laboratory stocks and IPV production.

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