The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has dedicated $1.2 billion to polio vaccinations, since 1988.
The spread of polio has been reduced by 99% since then, according to the Gates Foundation site. Still, poliovirus is found in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“The United States and the United Kingdom each confirmed outbreaks of variant poliovirus and were added to the World Health Organization’s outbreak list in September 2022. Malawi and Mozambique each detected cases of wild polio that originated abroad in 2022,” the GPEI site states. The money from the Gates Foundation will be used further to implicate the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s strategy and planning through 2026.
In 2012, at the World Health Assembly, 194 member states declared the eradication of polio a “programmatic emergency for global public health.”
The foundation also informed that if the virus is not entirely removed from the world, there would be 200,000 new cases every year.
The polio endgame plan was then organized to address the matter. It is framed from 2019 to 2023. The new motto was to develop “a world where no child will ever again be paralyzed by any poliovirus anywhere while maintaining the functions to continue to benefit broader public health and development programs.”
The Gates Foundation is working with the GPEI and has donated $5 billion to the steps taken by the government.
The efforts to eliminate the virus have been multifold. The foundation also allocates resources to research and emergency operation centers in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It has also improved polio surveillance and response to any outbreaks.
“The last steps to eradication are by far the toughest. But our foundation remains dedicated to a polio-free future, and we’re optimistic that we will see it soon,” said Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Our investments in polio eradication not only bring us closer to that critical goal, but they also build long-term resilience by bolstering health care infrastructure and ensuring we’re prepared to respond to future pandemics,” he continued.
The polio eradication pledging moment is slated for October 18th in Berlin, hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.