WHO certify the WHO African Region as wild polio free

01 September 2020

Article: 54/3504

On 25 August 2020, the African Regional Certification Commission certified the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region as wild polio free, after four years without a case. This means that five of the six WHO regions, representing over 90% of the world’s population, are now free of the wild poliovirus.

The WHO is calling for continued commitment to strengthening immunisation and health systems in the African region, in order to protect progress made against wild polio transmission, and to tackle the spread of type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2), which is present in 16 countries in the region. Pockets of low immunity mean such strains continue to pose a threat and the risk is magnified by interruptions in vaccination due to COVID-19, which have left communities potentially more vulnerable to cVDPV2 outbreaks.

Source: WHO, 25 August 2020