Delyn MP David Hanson today welcomed the Government’s announcement of £100 million to help finally rid the world of the crippling scourge of polio. The UK investment is part of a new £435 million ($630 million) package announced today in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International and Germany.
Last year there were 1,600 cases of polio reported across the four countries where it is still endemic – India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
David Hanson said:
“Health experts warn that polio could spread across national borders unless there is a final push for eradication. I am delighted that with this new funding, we can now see the prospect of an end to the thousands of new polio sufferers each year.
“In the current global economic climate, it is crucial we don’t forget the health problems suffered by the world’s poorest people.”
The money will be used to fund a wide range of initiatives, including:
- National immunisation days, where countries aim to immunise every child under five years old with an oral polio vaccine
- Supplemental vaccinations focussed on children in high risk area
- Research into new vaccines and ways to ensure they are available to vulnerable children
- Monitoring activities to detect cases of polio so that progress can be measured and outbreaks contained
The last recorded case of polio infection in the UK was in 1982, and the last known imported case occurred in the UK was in 1993.