Rotary Club will donate $40.3 million to support immunization activities and research carried out by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to enhance the fight to kick out polio. Rotary grants these funds to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for polio immunization, surveillance and research activities in 10 countries.
The last case of polio occurred in Kano State on 24 July, 2014 and no new case of polio have been reported anywhere in Africa since August 2014.
Nigeria needs to go an additional two years without polio to be certified polio-free. Funding and support for high-quality immunization campaigns and surveillance activities will be key to sustaining current gains.
Rotary launched its polio immunization program PolioPlus in 1985 and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the initiative launched in 1988, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to less than 400 confirmed in 2014.
Rotary’s roles within the initiative are fundraising, advocacy, and social mobilization. To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.4 billion and countless volunteer hours to fight polio. Through 2018, every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million a year.
Rotary’s funds will support immunization efforts in: $9.9 million in Nigeria; $12.2 million in Pakistan and $2.3 million in Afghanistan.
Additional funds will support efforts to keep other at-risk countries polio-free. The grants include $1 million, Cameroon: $900,000, Chad; $2 million, Democratic Republic of Congo; $1.1 million, Ethiopia; $1 million, Niger; $1.5 million, Somalia; and $1.5, South Sudan. In addition, grants totaling $5.8 million will provide surveillance in African and Eastern Mediterranean regions. Grants to Africa alone total $19 million. In total, Rotary has donated $688.5 million to support polio eradication efforts in Africa over the past thirty years