Mon 17 October 2022:
On Sunday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $1.2 billion donation to the polio eradication effort.
“Polio eradication is within reach. But as far as we have come, the disease remains a threat,” In a statement, Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation, said
The money will go to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a national government-led public-private partnership aimed at eradicating the disease by 2026.
Polio is caused by a virus that enters the central nervous system and damages cells in the spinal cord and brain.
Those who survive are frequently paralyzed or have atrophied and deformed limbs.
Children under the age of five are most usually affected by polio, although everyone who has not had the vaccine is susceptible.
According to a statement from the foundation, the GPEI has helped prevent more than 20 million cases of paralysis and reduced the number of occurrences of polio by more than 99 percent globally since its inception in 1988.
Although Malawi and Mozambique also discovered imported wild polio cases in 2022, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two nations where the polio virus is still endemic.
“Despite this historic progress, interruptions in routine immunisation, vaccine misinformation, political unrest, and the tragic floods in Pakistan in 2022 have underscored the urgent need to finish the job against polio,” the foundation said.
Another worry, according to the report, is that “countries that had previously eliminated all forms of polio virus have recently reported new detections of the virus,” including the US and Britain.
Participants in the GPEI include Rotary International, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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