By Lexi Elo
The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved today US$200 million of International Development Association (IDA) additional financing for the final push to eradicate polio and sustain routine immunization for children under five years and women of reproductive age in Nigeria.
Nigeria is making significant progress towards polio eradication, with no new cases of polio virus reported since July 2014. The disease surveillance system, even in insecure areas, continues to perform well. This additional financing will build on the positive results of the original project approved in July 2012 and help sustain the gains achieved to date.
This new financing for the Polio Eradication Support Project will assist Nigeria to increase and sustain the coverage of oral polio vaccine immunization. With five more months of zero cases of Wild Polio Virus (WPV), Nigeria will have officially interrupted transmission of polio, which is a significant milestone toward eradication.
Oluwole Odutolu, Task Team Leader for the Polio Eradication Support Project said that “Eradicating polio is a global public good because of its epidemic potential and devastating impact on children and adults. Polio remains a lethal and crippling disease that is entirely preventable and ending it makes the world a safer place for all children.”
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This additional financing will also help sustain the coverage of routine immunization in the country and the prevention of vaccine preventable-diseases, which is a major cause of under-five mortality in Nigeria.