Islamic Development Bank disburses $32.6 million to eradicate polio

The Islamic Development Bank recently allocated $32.6 million to stop children in Pakistan from suffering paralysis or death at the heads of polio, the World Health Organization's Eastern Mediterranean office said on Wednesday.

The disbursement was the first of the $227 million the IDB approved for polio eradication efforts in Pakistan. The disbursement was made through the WHO on August 3.

The contribution will be used to help train and support more than 200,000 health workers and volunteers to immunize 33 million children in Pakistan with the oral polio vaccine. The money will also be used to improve immunization services for other vaccine-preventable diseases and to strengthen disease surveillance throughout Pakistan.

Pakistan is one of the three countries left in the world that never eliminated polio. The country continues to pose a significant health risk for children in Pakistan in addition to other member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The WHO expressed its appreciation to the IDB and the OIC as important partners in the growing global effort to eradicate polio. The WHO praised the commitment of the new provincial and federal governments in Pakistan to make the eradication effort a national emergency. The efforts of the Pakistani government may help to make sure that all children in Pakistan are protected from polio going forward.