Nigeria to get $10.2 million grant from Rotary for polio eradication

11 Jun 2019, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria

Summary

Rotary has committed to raising $50 million a year to be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amounting to $150 million for polio eradication.

A child being vaccinated against poliovirus in Nigeria

Rotary, a global network of over 1.2 million people tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, has announced that it will be giving $100 million grant to support the global efforts towards the eradication of polio.

Nigeria, which has gone two years without any new reported case of wild poliovirus, will be receiving $10.2 million. Democratic Republic of Congo will receive $9.5 million; Chad, $102,395; Ethiopia, $2.6 million; Kenya, $6.3 million; Mali, $1.2 million; Somalia, $1.4 million; and South Sudan will receive $1.2 million.

Polio is a vaccine-preventable disease that has paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children across the globe. Rotary said the fund will be used to address the final -- and most pressing -- challenges to ending the transmission of poliovirus, even as Africa is closer to achieving a polio-free status.

In addition to Nigeria, Afghanistan ($16.3 million) and Pakistan ($25.2 million) are receiving the largest share of the grant.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will also receive $1.3 million to conduct research, and $10.9 million and $4 million to support its surveillance activities in Africa and Eastern Mediterranean regions, respectively.

According to a statement released by Rotary on Monday, there were only 33 cases of wild poliovirus reported in 2018, compared with the 350,000 cases reported in 1988 when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was established. The last mile eradication of the disease has proven to be the most difficult. Barriers such as weak health systems, insecurity and mobile and remote populations must be overcome to eradicate polio because as long as one child has polio, all children are at risk.

“Routine immunization in high-risk states is helping us prevent new cases of wild polio,” said Tunji Funsho, Chair of Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee.“ Although the polio infrastructure has become stronger, which allows us to respond to other serious health concerns, we must remain committed to ensuring there is political and financial support necessary to 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 $150 million for polio eradication. It has contributed more than $1.9 billion to fighting the endemic disease and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication programme, called PolioPlus, in 1985.

In 1988, Rotary became one of the partners in the GPEI. The other partners – apart from national governments – are WHO, the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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