India and 10 other Asian countries. Apart from India, the other countries which were given polio-free certificates were Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
A country is declared polio-free by the WHO, if no case is reported for three consecutive years. India reported the last polio case in January 2011. An independent panel of 11 experts in public health, epidemiology, virology, clinical medicine and related specialties constituting the Southeast Asia Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication met for two days to review evidence from the countries before reaching the decision.
Congratulations to the team of 2.3 million polio volunteers and 150,000 supervisors worked day and night to reach every child.
Before a Region can be certified polio-free, several conditions must be satisfied such as: at least three years of zero confirmed cases due to indigenous wild poliovirus; excellent laboratory-based surveillance for poliovirus; demonstrated capacity to detect, report, and respond to imported cases of poliomyelitis; and assurance of safe containment of polioviruses in laboratories (introduced since 2000).
Certification of the Region comes as countries prepare for the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in routine immunization as part of the eventual phasing out of oral polio vaccines (OPV). More than 120 countries currently use only OPV. These countries will introduce a dose of IPV by the end of 2015 as part of their commitment to the global polio endgame plan which aims to ensure a polio-free world by 2018.
Read More at WHO press note