from MACOUMBA BEYE in Dakar, Senegal
DAKAR, (CAJ News) – THE emergence of polio in a number of countries has raised doubts over prospects of eliminating the disease.
It was hoped that vaccination efforts and early detection of cases would result in global eradication of the disease by 2018.
However, an epidemic has been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Polio is also endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
As the world marked Polio Day on Wednesday this week, some 25 civil society organisations issued a stern warning on the diminishing impact of global efforts to eradicate the disease.
“The prevailing political crisis in these countries has led to significant migration between countries, and is indeed a real risk that can enhance the spread,” said Ferdinand Tabi on behalf of the organisations.
Speaking from Senegal, the organisations are also concerned by the ending of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative funding in 2020 as it will result into a drastic reduction in financial resources.
However, efforts to eradicate polio have received a major boost after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged to increase their donations by US$100 million (R1,45 billion) over the next two years.
Polio is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of five.
It causes disability.
– CAJ News