from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – A donation of over US$33 million (N10,38 billion) in humanitarian emergency funding to children’s rights groups will help to protect millions of Nigerian minors from polio.
The donation to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is in response to the urgent need to rapidly raise immunity to polio virus in the region.
It would enable Nigeria and neighbouring countries purchase polio vaccines, conduct house-to-house polio campaigns and support communication efforts to mobilize communities for vaccination.
UNICEF Director of Polio Eradication, Reza Hossaini, said the Japanese funding was gratefully received and filled an urgent need.
Japan remains one of the champion donors to the GPEI and the Global Health agenda in general, with contributions to polio eradication through UNICEF since 2002 totaling more than US$ 333 million.
“This additional funding is very timely to support the ongoing polio vaccination campaigns and give Africa the very real opportunity to be completely polio-free,” said Hossaini.
“These campaigns aim to not only stop transmission of polio in north-eastern Nigeria but protect its neighbours against the spread of the virus through provision of vaccines and targeted social mobilization activities.”
The detection of wild poliovirus in north-eastern Nigeria occurred in August 2016 following the large-scale movement of families affected by conflict in Borno State out of areas inaccessible to health services.
In 2016, wild poliovirus transmission was limited to 37 cases globally in the three remaining polio-endemic countries-Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
– CAJ News