The Rotary International injects $100m in global polio fight
Rotary is providing $100 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio especially in African countries such as Nigeria.
The vaccine-preventable disease once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.
In a statement to APA on Monday Rotary said its funding comes as the organization and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) address the final—and most pressing—challenges to ending poliovirus transmission.
It is at a time when Nigeria approaches three years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus, bringing the Africa region closer to polio-free status, Rotary said.
“Routine immunization in high-risk states is helping us prevent new cases of wild polio,” said Dr. Tunji Funsho, chair or Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee.
While there were only 33 cases of wild poliovirus reported in 2018, the last mile of eradication has proven to be the most difficult. Barriers to eradication–like weak health systems, insecurity, and mobile and remote populations–must be overcome, Rotary said.
To support polio eradication efforts in endemic countries, Rotary is allocating half the funds to Afghanistan ($16.3 million), Nigeria ($10.2 million), and Pakistan ($25.2million).
The others are Chad ($102,395) Democratic Republic of the Congo ($9.5 million) Ethiopia ($2.6 million) Iraq ($6 million) Kenya ($6.3 million) Mali ($1.2 million) Somalia ($1.4 million) South Sudan ($1.2 million) Syria ($1.7 million) and Yemen ($2.1 million)
Rotary said it is providing additional funding to support efforts aimed at keeping vulnerable countries polio-free.