The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced $1.2 billion on Sunday for efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.
Polio was paralyzing tens of thousands of children a year in dozens of countries around the world just a few decades ago, but the virus is now only endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Part of the success in eradicating the virus is due to the nearly $5 billion that the Gates Foundation has contributed to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
“Polio eradication is within reach. But as far as we have come, the disease remains a threat. Working together, the world can end this disease,” Bill Gates said in a statement.
NY POLIO FEARS ON THE RISE WITH POSSIBLE ‘COMMUNITY SPREAD’ OF THE DANGEROUS VIRUS
Despite the success in fighting the virus, samples of the poliovirus have been detected in wastewater this year, in New York. A 20-year-old Rockland County man became paralyzed after contracting the virus this summer.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency last month, urging residents to get vaccinated.
Polio was also detected in wastewater in London earlier this year.
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The Global Polio Eradication Initiative will require $4.8 billion in funding through 2026 with the goal of vaccinating 370 million children.
“The fight against polio has done far more than protect children against polio. It has played a key role in strengthening health systems,” Melinda French Gates said in a statement.