- The Polio Eradication Program in Nigeria, through the World Health Organization, will respond to specific gaps identified by the World Health Organization. CIDA's investment will support the disease surveillance and response system, increase targeted polio vaccination campaigns, and strengthen the routine immunization system. The project will support the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System, which is the national body responsible for coordinating polio surveillance in Nigeria. Surveillance is essential in order to take appropriate public health action in the case of a communicable disease outbreak such as polio. ($18 million, 2013-2015)
Since 1988, Canada and its partners have supported the immunization of hundreds of millions of children, which has led to the eradication of the polio virus from almost every country on earth, and continues to put an end to this disease in the few vulnerable pockets where it remains. Canada has helped to contribute to the following results:
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988 by national governments, the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. At that time, polio was endemic in more than 125 countries on five continents and paralyzed more than one thousand children each day. Since then, at least 2.5 billion children throughout the world have been immunized against the disease. The number of cases has declined by over 99 percent, from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to 233 in 2012.
Afghanistan and polio
Since 2006, CIDA has worked with the Government of Afghanistan and other international partners, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, to support polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan. Despite security challenges, Afghanistan has seen small but substantial progress that has resulted in:
-- the ongoing vaccination of more than seven million children against polio throughout Afghanistan;-- a coordinated approach to polio prevention between Afghanistan and Pakistan through the establishment of immunization sites at main border crossings and the synchronization of immunization calendars between the two countries; and-- the successful piloting and introduction of the bivalent oral polio vaccine in Afghanistan (against Type 1 and Type 3 wild poliovirus). In combination with previously-used vaccines, the bivalent vaccine has accelerated the interruption of remaining chains of polio transmission.
Nigeria and polio
Through two complimentary initiatives with the World Health Organization and UNICEF, Canada achieved the following results in Nigeria between 2005 and 2010:
-- in each of the eight high-risk states, one of the projects recruited and trained more than 4,000 community-level polio workers;-- through community dialogue activities, an increased ownership and participation of communities in polio immunization led to a 50-percent reduction in the number of children never reached by polio campaigns in northern states; and-- the proportion of children not immunized in Nigeria's highest-risk states fell below 5 percent for the first time.
Pakistan and polio
Through support to the World Health Organization (2007-2008) for eradication efforts nationwide and to UNICEF (2008-2009) for specifically targeting the polio campaign in Balochistan province, Canada has helped to:
-- improve the quality and delivery of primary health care, especially for the female population, to increase access to health services by the poor, and to ultimately interrupt transmission of the polio virus in Pakistan, contributing to the global eradication effort;-- enhance the surveillance of cross-border and tribal areas and mobile populations;-- enhance technical support for data management and supervision which allowed for better tracking of the number of cases, number of children immunized, and transmission zones; and-- immunize two million children in Balochistan province.
Details of all allocations will be made at a later date.
Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
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