Rotary donates $40.3m to eradicate polio

Rotary has donated a sum of 40.3m to the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF) on the 16th of June 2015 in Abuja for the eradication of Polio through immunization, surveillance and research activities in 10 countries.

This comes at a critical time for Nigeria as the last Polio endemic country in Africa. The last recorded case in Nigeria occurred in Kano state on the 24th of July 2014. And if the current progress continues, the WHO may remove Nigeria from the list of Polio endemic countries as early as September.

However, experts has strongly cautioned that it is too soon to fully celebrate since Nigeria needs to go an additional two years without recording any case of the disease to be certified free.

Also, it has been reported that there are no new cases of Polio recorded anywhere in Africa since August 2014. Despite this, the only two other Polio endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan continue to experience hurdles in polio eradication campaigns including inaccessibility of children and security.

Pakistan recorded the highest number of Polio outbreak last year with 300 cases, the highest number in the country in more than a decade. This figure accounted for almost 90% of the world’s cases.

The chair of Rotary’s international Polio plus committee, Mike MC. Govern disclosed that although there has been significant progress made against the disease, but children remain at risk.

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