- The Canadian government has announced it is contributing C$30 million (US$28 million) toward eradicating polio in sub-Saharan Africa.
- “Canada’s contribution will ensure that millions of children in sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan are protected against polio,” said Beverley J. Oda, minister of international cooperation, on 4 September.
- “Our innovative partnership with Rotary International, along with the World Health Organization and UNICEF, will help ensure that we move toward destroying this crippling disease.”
- Canada’s latest contribution will help launch national immunization campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa, and at least C$15 million (US$13.9 million) will support disease surveillance and training for medical professionals in Nigeria.
- The funding comes at a critical time for Nigeria, according to WHO. A polio outbreak in the northern part of the country is putting the sub-Saharan region at risk, and stepped-up immunization activities are essential to prevent the disease from spreading.
- In Afghanistan, Canada’s support is helping to immunize seven million children under age five against polio.
- The effort includes mapping nomadic migration routes and establishing vaccination points at major border crossings to synchronize immunization schedules between Afghanistan and Pakistan.