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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, European Commission, Others Commit €1.1billion To End Polio Virus

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in conjunction with the European Commission and the European Investment Bank has announced a new financing partnership to address critical global health opportunities, which include eradicating polio and ensuring that innovations in health are more accessible to the people who need them most.

The partnership is contained in a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), on Wednesday, October 10, 2023.

According to the report, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, as implementing partners for the polio funding, will deploy the resources to eradicate polio, support the distribution of other childhood immunizations, and strengthen health systems so they are better able to respond to emerging health threats.

The agency said the expected €1.1 billion financing package aims to provide new funding to eradicate a human disease for only the second time in history and help solve the health and development challenges faced by the world’s most vulnerable people, who otherwise do not get fair access to healthcare services and innovations.

The partnership, according to WHO, marks a significant increase in funding for global health and human development under the European Commission’s European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) and is expected to include a match of new complementary funding for global health by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, thus maximizing the impact of every Euro committed by the EU and the European Investment Bank.

“Today we are united to write the final chapter in the history of polio. The European Investment Bank is playing its part in a unique partnership with philanthropy and health partners, by providing EUR 500 million for investment in support of the Global Polio Eradication Programme.

This initiative will be a milestone in scaling up immunization and strengthening healthcare, ensuring that every child, regardless of their circumstances, can be protected against polio,” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

WHO further stated that to promote swift progress towards eradicating wild poliovirus, the partnership aims to deliver €500 million in payments to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, specifically the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

The funds, the agency said, will cover polio vaccinations for nearly 370 million children annually; deliver vital health services to children alongside polio campaigns, including measles vaccines and other routine immunizations; and strengthen health systems to better prepare and respond to emerging health threats, as the polio program has done against COVID-19, Ebola, and other diseases.

Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, expressed optimism that Polio will be eradicated once and for all and also make health innovations more accessible for everyone especially those in developing nations.
“Today, wild poliovirus remains endemic in just two countries; Pakistan and Afghanistan, and 80% of variant poliovirus cases are found in just four subnational regions.

“Thanks to medical innovations, the world eradicated one human disease, smallpox. Today we’re on the verge of ending another, wild poliovirus. I am committed to ensuring that no child, anywhere in the world, faces this awful disease.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “We are about to wipe polio off the face of the Earth. The European Commission, the EIB, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are partnering to get through the final stretch.

“With one billion euros supported by our European investment strategy Global Gateway, we will invest in stronger health systems globally and local vaccine and medicines production, manufacturing, and administration, where it is most needed. Global cooperation has helped us put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it will help us get rid of polio once and for all.”


By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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