Rotary Announces US$ 96.5 Million To End Polio

Rotary, a global network of community leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, recently announced nearly US$100 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.

While significant strides have been made against the paralyzing disease, wild poliovirus is still a threat in parts of the world, with 10 cases in Afghanistan and three cases in Pakistan this year so far, as reported in a Rotary press release. As long as a single child has polio, all children are at risk, which underscores the need for on-going funding and political commitment to eradication

To support polio eradication efforts in countries where polio remains endemic, Rotary is allocating the majority of the funds to: Afghanistan ($22.9 million), Pakistan ($21.7 million), and Nigeria ($16.1 million).

Nigeria marks two years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus, following four reported cases in 2016. The country “has prevented further cases of wild poliovirus thanks to the improved surveillance and rapid response protocols Rotary and its Global Polio Eradication Initiative (PolioEradication.org) partners have supported, particularly in Borno,” Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee, said in the release. “We must remain vigilant about maintaining political and financial support to ensure strengthened immunization practices as we redouble our efforts toward ending polio in Nigeria and around the globe.”

Rotary has committed to raising $50 million a year to be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amounting to $450 for polio eradication activities over a three-year period.

 

Image Credits: Rotary Bruxelles.

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