Rotary International has announced $96.5 million in grants in support of global efforts to end polio, with the majority of the funding allocated to Afghanistan ($22.9 million), Pakistan ($21.7 million), and Nigeria ($16.1 million), where the disease remains endemic — although Nigeria recently marked two years without a single new case of wild poliovirus. Ten cases have been reported in Afghanistan and three in Pakistan so far this year.
"The fact that no new cases of wild poliovirus have been detected in Nigeria points to the improved surveillance and rapid response protocols Rotary and its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners have established, particularly in insecure and inaccessible areas," said Michael K. McGovern, chair of the organization's International PolioPlus Committee. "While this progress is promising, it's time to redouble our efforts so we can continue to maintain the political and financial support necessary to end polio for good."
The organization also awarded grants in support of efforts to keep twelve African countries polio-free — Cameroon ($98,600), the Central African Republic ($394,400), Chad ($1.71 million), the Democratic Republic of the Congo ($10.4 million), Guinea ($527,300), Madagascar ($690,000), Mali ($923,200), Niger ($85,300), Sierra Leone ($245,300), Somalia ($776,200), South Sudan ($3.5 million), and Sudan ($2.6 million) — as well as $5.8 million for surveillance activities and $467,800 in support of technical assistance across the continent. Additional funding will go to Bangladesh ($504,200), Indonesia ($157,800), Myanmar ($197,200), and Nepal ($160,500), with $96,300 in funding for surveillance in Southeast Asia. The remaining $6.6 million will be awarded to the World Health Organization (WHO) in support of research activities.
(Photo credit: Rotary International)