The World Health Organization certified on 27 March 2014 its 11-country Southeast Asia region has eradicated polio, a long-awaited declaration given that five years ago India represented nearly half of all polio cases worldwide. The region’s last wild polio case was reported in West Bengal, India, on 13 January 2011.

This achievement is an important milestone for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative,” said Rotary Foundation Trustee chair Dong Kurn Lee.

We have beaten polio in Southeast Asia, and now we must do the same in the rest of Asia and Africa.” The region includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. Its more than 1.8 billion people represent over 25 percent of the world’s population.