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Global Leaders Pledge $2.6 bn to End Polio at World Health Summit

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Leaders meeting at the World Health Summit in Berlin on Tuesday pledged an extra $2.6 billion in funding toward the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) 2022-2026 Strategy to end polio.

The historic boost came at an event co-hosted by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the funds will support global efforts to overcome the final hurdles to polio eradication.

The Summit is also hosted by France, Senegal, and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO stated that the extra cash would help fund vaccination for some 370 million children annually over the next five years and continue disease surveillance across 50 countries.

“No place is safe until polio has been eradicated everywhere. As long as the virus still exists somewhere in the world, it can spread – including in our own country.

“We now have a realistic chance to eradicate polio completely, and we want to jointly seize that chance,” Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, said.

Wild poliovirus is endemic in just two countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan.

However, after just six cases were recorded in 2021, 29 cases have been recorded so far in 2022, including a small number of new detections in southeast Africa linked to a strain originating in Pakistan.

Additionally, outbreaks of polio variants that can emerge in places where few people have been immunised – continue to spread across parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe, with new outbreaks detected in the United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom in recent months.


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