The foundation Bill and Melinda Gates promised to invest 1,200 million dollars, in the next five years, to support efforts to eradicate all forms of polio globally.
The organization made the announcement from Berlin, where the World Health Summit is held this Sunday and before the meeting of the Global Initiative for the Eradication of Polio (IGEP) is held next Tuesday.
These funds will serve to implement the IGEP 2022-2026 Strategy, which seeks to eradicate outbreaks of the disease in the two countries where it is still endemic, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and prevent outbreaks of virus variants. The Bill Gates Foundation has already contributed more than 5 billion in total to the IGEP.
“I want to thank Germany for co-hosting this week’s events and for their continued support of polio eradication. I call on other donors to support the eradication strategy so that no one is paralyzed by polio again,” he added.
Next Tuesday the IGEP meeting is held and it is expected that there will be more funding commitments from donors and leaders of various countries to achieve the 4,800 million dollars budgeted in the Agency’s 2022-2026 Strategy.
The plan foresees vaccinate 370 million children a year and provide other basic health servicesas well as measures to support local authorities, respond to possible outbreaks or help develop the new generation of polio vaccines.
It is estimated that the IGEP has saved more than 20 million children from this disease that causes paralysis and death. This year and for the first time in a long time, cases have been registered in Africa and there are fears for children who have not received the vaccine due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This highly contagious disease invades the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis. It is more common among children under five years of age, but anyone who has not been vaccinated is susceptible to infection.
Since its launch in 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has helped reduce cases by 99% and this made it possible to avoid more than 20 million cases of paralysis, the foundation recalled in a statement.
horror in new york
In mid-August, New York health authorities warned that this highly contagious disease that it is transmitted through feces, secretions from the nose and throat or by drinking contaminated water had been detected in sewage.
A “worrying but not surprising” discovery, according to the authorities, who believe that “the virus is probably circulating locally” and that New Yorkers who have not yet been vaccinated should do so as soon as possible.
In mid-July, the first confirmed case of polio was recorded. in Rockland County, the first in the United States since 2013.
In New York City, 86% of children ages six months to five years have received three doses of the vaccine, meaning that the remaining 14% are not fully protected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said “concerned” and sent experts to New York state this summer to improve detection and vaccinationas it is a disease that can have “devastating and irreversible consequences.”
*With information from AFP and EP.
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Bill Gates up front against polio: “I would do practically anything to help eradicate it”