World Health Organization
منظمة الصحة العالمية
Organisation mondiale de la Santé


Map of Egypt

Egypt has been polio free since 2004. The last case was reported from Assiut in May 2004. The last environmental sample with indigenous wild virus was reported in January 2005. In late 2008, two environmental wild viruses were detected with virus imported from South Sudan and India, respectively. In December 2010, an imported wild virus was detected in a sewage water sample collected from Aswan related to north Sudan.

Routine immunization

Routine immunization against polio has been mandatory since 1968. 

National immunization days

National immunization days have been carried out since 1976, and on a yearly basis since 1989. A shift to the house-to-house strategy began in 2000 and became a national strategy in 2002. Multiple yearly national immunization days were conducted between 2002 and 2005 until Egypt was declared polio-free. Since then, an average of two national immunization days have been conducted yearly. In 2012, two wild isolates, related to Pakistan, were isolated from environmental samples collected from Cairo.

Acute flaccid paralysis surveillance

Surveillance reporting started in Egypt in the early 1990s. In 1996, Egypt shifted to virological case classification and since then, acute flaccid paralysis surveillance indicators have been maintained at WHO certification standards.

Supplementary surveillance monitoring

Environmental surveillance for detection of polioviruses was established in 2001. Samples are collected from 34 sites in 18 governorates on a monthly basis. Sometimes the frequency is increased if there is detection of any wild poliovirus or vaccine-derived poliovirus. The quality of its performance is checked in parallel with the national public health laboratory in Helsinki, Finland. 

Country indicators


VACSERA, the national poliovirus laboratory in Cairo, Egypt, is a WHO-accredited regional reference laboratory of the Eastern Mediterranean Region poliovirus laboratories network. It is also a WHO-accredited laboratory to perform intra-typic differentiation of polioviruses.

Phase one of laboratory containment of polioviruses has been completed and a report documenting the quality of containment activities has been submitted to WHO. 

Related links

WHO Egypt country office

Egypt certification status

Routine immunization

Targets and percentage coverage by supplementary immunization activity in the Eastern Mediterranean Region by year

Acute flaccid paralysis surveillance indicators in the Eastern Mediterranean Region