Google donates $4 million to fight polio

Google recently announced that it would donate $4 million to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, which seeks to raise a total of $14 million to fund its oral polio vaccine pipeline.

UNICEF and its partners have been working to eradicate polio worldwide by funding efforts in at risk nations, the Daily Tell reports. Recent outbreaks in Congo, Liberia, Kenya and Tajikistan, however, have left the organization short on supply of the oral polio vaccine, which means the organization is in need of funding.

"No child should ever have to suffer from the crippling effects of this preventable disease, especially when such a simple, inexpensive solution exists," UNICEF President and CEO Caryl Stern said, according to the Daily Tell. "We are so grateful to Google for their incredibly generous donation, which will help us in our goal of eradicating this dreaded disease by 2012."

The number of annual polio cases reported has decreased by 99 percent since UNICEF began the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, but the organization says it still has a long way to go before the disease is eradicated, the Daily Tell reports.

Poliomyelitis, more commonly known as polio, is all but extinct in many countries thanks to a vigorous eradication program, but still poses a risk for those children living in the Indian subcontinent, West and Central Africa and Central Asia.