Rotary International has announced its willingness to donate $8.15 million to stem the recent outbreak of polio in Nigeria and countries in the Lake Chad Basin region and an additional $ 35 million to support a polio-free world. According to a report issued on Tuesday in Evanston, Illinois, on its website, www..Rotary. org, it said it is committing an additional $35 million in grants to support the global efforts to end polio, bringing the humanitarian service organization’s contributions to $105 million in 2016.
The announcement for more funds follows the recent reports of three new cases of the Wild Polio Virus, WPV, in Nigeria, two cases in July and one in August, the three cases being the first to be detected in Nigeria since July 2014. Rotary said, ‘’with these cases funding for polio eradication is particularly vital as rapid response plans are now in action in Nigeria and surrounding countries to stop the outbreak quickly and prevent its spread. Rotary further disclosed that with its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, GPEI are acting TO immunize children in Nigeria and surrounding Lake Chad Basis countries of Chad,
Northern Cameroon, Southern Niger and the Central African Republic. It noted that, ‘’while significant strides have been made against the paralyzing disease with just 26 cases reported in 2016, poilo remains a threat in hard-to- reach and underserved areas and conflict zones. Chair of Rotary’s International PoiloPlus Committee, Micheal K. McGovern, said while we are disappointed with the recent news coming out of Nigeria, this situation ubderscores the extreme importance of widespread imminusation campaigns and strong disease surveillance in all countries of the world until polio is fully eradicated.
‘‘This funding will help ensure that Rotary and our GPEI partners are doing all that we can to redouble our efforts and protect thew progress in polio-free parts of the world as well as stop transmission in Pakistan, Afghanistan and now Nigeria.’’ Experts said that to sustain the progress and protect all children from polio $1.5 billion is urgently needed, adding that without full funding and political commitment the paralyzing disease could return to previously polio- free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary further said that it has contributed more than $1.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to fight polio. Meanwhile, in a bid to fight polio globally, it launched its polio immunisation programme PolioPlus in 1985, and in 1988, became a partner with Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organisation, WHO, United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, US Centres for Disease Control, USCDC and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to supporting response in the Lake Chad Basin, funding has been allocated to Afghanistan in the sum of $5.55 million, Pakistan $12.36 million, India $875,000, Somalia $1.77 million South Sudan $2.04 million and the Democratic Republic of Congo $2 million and $2.25 million to support WHO key staff.


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