|Photo Source/ Office of the |
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, where leaders reiterated their commitment to working together to put an end to this devastating disease.
“Our Government is committed to improving the health and saving the lives of women, children and newborns in developing countries,” said the Prime Minister. “Support announced today will help put an end to polio, a devastating childhood disease which can be prevented with a simple vaccine.”
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is a public-private partnership spearheaded by the World Health Organization to eradicate polio worldwide. The GPEI also supports the delivery of vital routine health interventions, including immunizations, vitamin A and zinc supplements, and the distribution of antimalarial bed nets. Canada's contribution to the initiative will support this work and strengthen surveillance systems in countries where polio is endemic.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a disease that mainly affects children under the age of five. It can cause irreversible paralysis and sometimes leads to death.
Canada has made polio eradication a signature project in Afghanistan, where progress continues to be made, with almost 85 percent of the country now deemed polio-free. Over 7 million children across Afghanistan continue to be vaccinated against polio.
Since 2000, Canada has disbursed $348 million toward the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The Prime Minister announced today that Canada would also provide an additional $15 million over two years for 2012 and 2013, making it the Initiative’s eighth largest donor.
Source: The Office of the Prime Minister of Canada