The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced $1.2 billion on Sunday for efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.
Polio crippled tens of thousands of children a year in dozens of countries around the world just decades ago, but the virus is now endemic only in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Part of the success in eradicating the virus is due to the nearly $5 billion the Gates Foundation has donated to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
“The eradication of poliomyelitis is within reach. But as far as we have come, the disease remains a threat. By working together, the world can end this disease,” Bill Gates said in a statement. .
NY POLIO FEARS INCREASING WITH POSSIBLE ‘COMMUNITY SPREAD’ OF DANGEROUS VIRUS
Despite the success in the fight against the virus, samples of the poliovirus have been detected in sewage this year in New York. A 20-year-old Rockland County man has become paralyzed after contracting the virus this summer.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency last month, urging residents to get vaccinated.
Polio was also detected in sewage in London earlier this year.
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The Global Polio Eradication Initiative will require $4.8 billion in funding through 2026 with the goal of vaccinating 370 million children.
“The fight against polio has done much more than protect children from polio. It has played a key role in strengthening health systems,” Melinda French Gates said in a statement.
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