LAGOS: THE Rotary International has released more than US$8 million to eradicate polio inn Nigeria.
The funds will be used by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support polio immunization campaigns, research and surveillance in the country. Nigeria has marked six months without a new case of polio.
“Nigeria has managed an incredible feat,” said Dr. Tunji Funsho, Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for Nigeria. “Our country has gone six months without a new case of the disease. However, now we must be more vigilant than ever, as our progress is fragile.”
“Commitment from all levels of the Nigerian government to ending the paralyzing disease has proved crucial to the country’s recent progress. Experts urge political leaders to maintain this focus, even amidst Nigeria’s upcoming national elections next month.” Nigeria, the last polio-endemic country in Africa, reported the highest number of polio cases in the world as recently as 2012.
However, the country showed remarkable progress in 2014, when it reduced its polio case count by nearly 90 percent over the previous year.
The funding commitment from Rotary comes at a critical time, as the country has a prime opportunity to take advantage of these gains and end the disease for good, the Rotary said.
The organisation brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY