Rotary International recently invested $35 million in grants to various immunization activities and research projects that are designed to eliminate polio from the world health scene.
These investments and projects will go to nine countries including $11.4 million to Pakistan and $6 million to Afghanistan, which are the only two nations that still have endemic polio status.
The investments will continue to build on the historic achievement from 2015, when Nigeria and all of Africa stopped the wild poliovirus transmission.
The finances will also support immunization activities in countries considered at risk. These include Ethiopia ($4.1 million), Nigeria ($5.5 million), Somalia ($1.8 million), Chad ($2 million), Iraq ($1.6 million), Cameroon ($1.6 million), and India ($618,000). Another $355,000 has been designated to research for polio elimination.
“We are closer than ever to achieving a polio-free world,” Michael McGovern, chair of Rotary's PolioPlus Committee, said. “To ensure that no child ever again suffers the devastating effects of this disease, we must all ensure that the necessary funds and political will are firmly in place in 2016.”