As World Polio Day nears, Rotary International has announced new funding to eradicate the disease in Nigeria
Nigeria is one of the beneficiaries of funds totaling USD49.5 million announced by Rotary International. According to the organization, the fund will support immunization and surveillance activities led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
“Rotary and its partners are closer than ever to eradicating polio,” says Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, which leads the organization’s polio eradication efforts. “World Polio Day is the ideal opportunity to celebrate our successes, raise public awareness, and talk about what is needed to end this paralyzing disease for good.”
Without full funding and political commitment to eradication, the disease could return to countries that are now polio-free and put children everywhere at risk.
Some of the funds will support efforts to end polio in the three countries where polio remains endemic: Afghanistan ($9.32 million), Pakistan ($8.94 million), and Nigeria ($7.71 million). Further funding will support efforts to keep six vulnerable countries polio-free: Chad ($2.37 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo ($4.5 million), Guinea ($961,000), Somalia ($1.62 million), South Sudan ($3.77 million), and Sudan ($2.56 million). An additional $7.74 million will go toward surveillance activities in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region.
“To protect all children from polio, world governments and donors must see through their commitments to fund critical work and support rigorous disease surveillance in both endemic and at-risk polio-free countries,” says McGovern. Rotary has committed to raising $150 million over the next three years, which will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, yielding $450 million for polio eradication activities, including immunization and surveillance.