Global Polio Eradication: Latest Situation

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was formed in 1988. At the time more than 350,000 people were paralyzed by polio each year.

By 2013, paralytic polio cases had declined by nearly 99% (compared to 1988 levels).

Following the eradication of Polio from India, only three countries remain endemic for polio: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

While the Nigeria and Afghanistan have shown a decline in the number of cases, the number of cases reported from Pakistan have risen in 2013 and 2014.


At present, Pakistan accounts for more than 85% of the paralytic polio cases reported this year.

Global agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO) have expressed concern at the steep increase in cases from Pakistan (227 cases of Wild Poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) as of today, October 28, 2014 [ there were only 46 cases by this date in 2013]).

According to the GPEI website, the most recent case had onset of paralysis on October 1, 2014. However, the information on the site was last updated about a week ago.

There were 19 cases of type 2 circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) in 2014, with the most recent case having onset of paralysis on June 23, 2014.

The UNICEF maintains that ” Pakistan remains the greatest challenge for global eradication efforts”; and that “the key to global polio eradication is in the hands of Pakistan”–October/World-Polio-Day-marks-countdown-to-ending-polio.aspx

News reports on the situation (Pakistani media):


Nigeria has reported only 6 new cases of paralytic polio this year, and is considered to be on the brink of eradication, paving the way for Polio-free Africa.–October/World-Polio-Day-marks-countdown-to-ending-polio.aspx


The total number of WPV1 cases in 2014 is 12, and are largely considered importations from Pakistan.–October/World-Polio-Day-marks-countdown-to-ending-polio.aspx

Link to WHO’s “10 facts on polio eradication”:

Note: Foreign media tend to use exaggeration and hyperbole. Therefore, to avoid any notion of ‘Pakistan-bashing’, only Pakistani media reports have been quoted. My apologies to other news agencies.

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