For the total eradication of polio in Nigeria, the government of Canada, through Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, has announced a contribution of $19.9m.
The grant, which will be implemented during the period 2016/17 – 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is expected to sustain the polio eradication gains through strengthened Routine Immunization (RI).
The project will help immunize approximately 6.6 million girls and 6.9 million boys against polio in 11 high risk Nigerian states. It will also train approximately 154,000 vaccinators and help protect up to 250,000 children from vaccine preventable diseases.
According to a statement from WHO made available to newsmen, “Minister Bibeau made the announcement on the margins of the Women Deliver’s 4th Global Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference presents a unique opportunity for discussing and engaging in dialogue on matters related to women and girls, with a specific focus on health.”
“As recently as 2012, Nigeria was the global epicentre in the world as Nigerian poliovirus frequently spread internationally, causing outbreaks as far away as Indonesia. However, in September 2015, the World Health Organisation removed Nigeria from list of endemic countries and for over 22 months now, there has been no reported case of polio. However, on-going immunization activities are essential to forestall any re-emergence of the virus.”
“The funding by the Canadian government is therefore expected to contribute towards the consolidation of the polio eradication gains and strengthening of the Routine Immunization (RI) system.”