Home Health Rotary International To Expend $14 Million On Ending Polio In Nigeria 

Rotary International To Expend $14 Million On Ending Polio In Nigeria 

Rotary International To Expend $14 Million On Ending Polio In Nigeria 

Princess-Ekwi Ajide Abuja

The World Health Organization (WHO), says it welcomes the pledge by Rotary International to commit a grant of US$14 million to combating all forms of polioviruses, particularly the Circulating Variant Poliovirus (cVPV2) in Nigeria, owing to the critical role it would play in sustaining the nation’s polio-free status achieved in August 2020 and addressing the persistent challenge posed by the variant.

The grant, spanning one year, will empower WHO to provide vital technical assistance to the Nigerian government in polio surveillance especially as the looming threat of cVPV2 necessitates ongoing vigilance and strategic intervention despite Nigeria’s previous success in obtaining a wild polio-free certification.

According to the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, the broader impact of supporting surveillance, is not only for polio but also for enhancing the country’s ability to combat other infectious diseases.

He assured that the allocated resources will be utilized to strengthen health security on both national and global fronts, saying Rotary International’s longstanding commitment to eradicating polio in Nigeria is evident through various grants approved by the Rotary Foundation Trustees.

Professor Pate, said the funds, totaling over US$13 million, focus on surveillance and technical assistance, with a clear mandate to be fully utilized between March 31, 2024, and 2025.

On his part, the WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, acknowledged Rotary International as a core partner and founding leader for GPEI efforts globally.

He said the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian government, WHO, and other partners, coupled with Rotary’s unwavering support, sustained the “Zero Wild Polio” status since 2016 but decried challenges which persisted, particularly with the circulation of cVPVD2 in some states of the North-West zone.

To eliminate the remaining poliovirus circulation by the end of the year, Dr. Mulombo reiterated WHO’s commitment to working closely with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and State Governments.

WHO, according to the country representative, will deploy resources strategically to eradicate polio, support nationwide surveillance activities, and enhance health systems’ resilience against emerging health threats as the implementing partner for polio funding.


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