At least 25 civil society organizations have issued a stern warning on the renewed spread of polio in developing countries at a time funding was declining.
Why it matters: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative funding would end in 2020. But an epidemic was recently declared in three regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo where health and vaccination systems are still not strong, while Polio remains endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
“The prevailing political crisis in the three countries has led to significant migration between countries, and is indeed a real risk that can enhance the spread,” said Ferdinand TABI of PROVARESSC in Cameroon.
This transition poses a threat to the health systems in many countries as the funding to eradicate Polio has been their main stay in the last decades.
Worldwide, more than 16 million people have been saved from paralysis and more than 1.5 million lives have been saved.
The campaign to eradicate polio said it was “encouraging all who can support current efforts and help create a Polio-free world to donate to Rotary International through endpolio.org”.
For now, many would continue to rely on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will increase its donations (until 50 million USD each year), for the next two years.
Simon is a renowned international journalist, founder and publisher of TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.