Gates Foundation and Rotary Pledge $200 Million to Fight Polio
Posted on November 26, 2007 Comments (3)
Did you think polio was cured decades ago? Well in the rich world is largely has been but it has not been eradicated everywhere. Gates Foundation, Rotary pledge $200 million to fight polio:
Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, said: “We have very few opportunities to improve the world in a permanent way. And this is one.” Polio has stricken untold millions around the world. In 1952, its peak year in the U.S., it paralyzed more than 20,000 Americans. But it became a disease of the past in this country after the discovery of a preventive vaccine in the 1950s and universal immunization.
The Gates grant comes at a critical time for the global initiative, which faces a funding shortfall of $650 million, officials said. Most of the initial $100 million will be spent on mass immunization campaigns, poliovirus surveillance activities, and community education and outreach in polio-affected countries.
In recent years, importation of the disease from affected areas into countries where the disease had been eliminated has set back eradication efforts. But last month the World Health Organization released data indicating that the last four polio-endemic countries were within reach of wiping out the disease. The health authority said significant progress had been made in India and Nigeria, which together account for 85 percent of the world’s polio cases.