Bill Gates in Atlanta: Foundation, Rotary commit $450 million to end polio

India was certified polio-free by the World Health Organization in 2014. The eradication of polio in India is heralded as one of the biggest achievements in global health efforts

Bill Gates in Atlanta: Foundation, Rotary commit $450 million to end polio

"However, children remain at risk everywhere until polio is completely stopped", a United Nations statement said.

The decision was reached during Monday's Rotary Convention in Atlanta, United States.

Polio had in the last 30 years paralyzed more than 350,000 children in more than 125 countries across the world. There have been only five cases to date in 2017.

"The highly contagious virus has now been eliminated in all but three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan". To end the disease for good, government representatives and partners came together to renew their commitment to supporting crucial activities such as vaccination and disease monitoring, which will protect more than 450 million children from polio each year.

"Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of governments, health workers, donors and the partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership dedicated to ending the disease".

Others are: $30 million from the Dalio Foundation, $25 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, $15 million from an anonymous donor, $13.4 million from Australia, $ 11.2 million from Germany, $5 million from easyJet, $5 million from Italy and $4 million from the Republic of Korea.

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Chris Elias, Global Development President, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board said the new efforts would protect more than 450 million children from polio each year.

Germ further said, "The paralysis of even one child by a preventable disease is unacceptable, and I'm proud to see our members redoubling their commitment to ensure we reach every single child with the polio vaccine".

After Nigeria recorded four cases of polio past year, Isaac Adewole, minister of health, at the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva, told world leaders that in curtailing the spread of Wild Polio Virus (WPV1), across Nigeria's borders, there had been robust worldwide outbreak response and enhanced surveillance activities. The government funding-also announced today at the Rotary Convention-will substantially help to close the US$1.5 billion funding gap, allowing partners to immunize 450 million children every year and support rigorous disease surveillance in both endemic and at-risk polio-free countries. Rotary, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, has donated more than $1.6 billion to polio eradication.

"The unrelenting commitment and support of these global leaders will help us do just that - and ultimately end this disease for everyone and forever".

"CDC remains deeply committed to polio eradication and has contributed US$2.28 billion since the beginning of the initiative".

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