HomeOur World in Data

We need more testing to eradicate polio worldwide

Both of these metrics – screening to identify potential cases of polio, and testing to confirm it – are important.  In this map, you can see how

Both of these metrics – screening to identify potential cases of polio, and testing to confirm it – are important. 

In this map, you can see how countries are performing on both of these metrics. 

Some countries have their own screening and testing procedures and are assessed to have a low risk for polio by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. These are shown in light blue and labeled ‘low risk’ in the chart.

In 2021, the countries shown in dark blue, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are endemic for polio, had adequate screening and testing for polio.

But in the purple countries – Ukraine, Myanmar, and Cambodia – there was inadequate screening to identify potential cases of polio. This is distressing as Ukraine had reported two cases of vaccine-derived polio in 2021. Although a large vaccination campaign had begun in late 2021, this was halted by the war.6

Meanwhile, in the countries shown in yellow – India, the Philippines, and Malaysia, as well as many countries in Africa – there was inadequate testing to confirm whether potential cases had polio.

Further, in the red countries – Guinea-Bissau, Laos, and Indonesia – there was both inadequate screening and inadequate testing. This is particularly worrying because it’s possible that these countries may be missing cases of vaccine-derived polio, which can be averted using the novel oral poliovirus vaccine.

Low rates of screening and testing make it challenging to direct efforts to contain the disease and they keep us back from achieving polio eradication worldwide.