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Japan provides $33m in emergency polio funding

•To prevent spread of virus in Nigeria, Lake Chad region 

By Gabriel Dike

Japan, one of the largest supporters of efforts to eradicate polio in Nigeria, has provided $33.3 million for emergency polio vaccination in Nigeria and other Lake Chad region.

UNICEF, in a statement made available to Daily Sun, said, in response to the urgent need to increase immunity to polio in the region, Japan has provided funding from its supplementary budget to purchase polio vaccines, conduct house-to-house polio vaccination campaigns and support efforts to mobilise communities for vaccination in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.  The conflict in northeast Nigeria has led to large areas of Borno State being cut off from health services and four cases of the wild poliovirus were detected last year among displaced families who had fled from inaccessible areas.  National Governments in the region, in collaboration with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), comprising the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, Rotary International, CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), have implemented emergency vaccination campaigns, throughout the region, to rapidly raise childhood immunity to the polio virus and guard against further spread.

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