An independent commission of experts has declared that wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) has been eradicated worldwide.
The historic announcement was made on World Polio Day on Thursday (24th October).
The last case of WPV3 was detected in northern Nigeria in 2012, and the eradication of wild poliovirus type 2 (WPV2) was achieved in 2015. Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) is now only in circulation in two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The announcement has been welcomed by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization and Chair of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) Polio Oversight Board.
“The achievement of polio eradication will be a milestone for global health. Commitment from partners and countries, coupled with innovation, means of the three wild polio serotypes, only type one remains," he said.
He added: "We remain fully committed to ensuring that all necessary resources are made available to eradicate all poliovirus strains. We urge all our other stakeholders and partners to also stay the course until final success is achieved."