The global campaign to eradicate Wild Polio Virus (WPV) cost $17billion, the Chairman of the Nigeria National Polioplus Committee of Rotary International Dr Tunji Funsho said yesterday.
Of the said sum, Funsho said Rotary International alone, committed $2.2billion, and expended $298m in 15 years, to combat and eradicate the deadly wild poliovirus in Nigeria.
This is coming as Nigeria is set to join three other African countries – Cameroon, Central African Republic, and South Sudan – to get a WPV-free certification by the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) yesterday.
He, however, said more needs to be done concerning routine immunisation, as a handful of states were still under-performing in this respect.
In an interview in Abuja, he said: “Myself, the National Polioplus Committee, and all the Rotarians in Nigeria feel a deep sense of accomplishment and relief. At the same time, we must remind ourselves that we have not gotten to the full stop in our wild poliovirus eradication; it is just a comma. We are looking forward to a time when we can say that the job is done and no child is paralysed by the wild poliovirus.
“When we’re talking about funding, we have surpassed our deadline of the year 2000; we have gone another 20 years and that has its attendant costs which has increased the cost of this effort to almost $19bn and still counting because we have not eradicated polio from the world.
“Rotary has spent at least $2.2bn out of the $17bn on polio eradication worldwide. In Nigeria alone, in the last 15 years, we have expended about $298 million on the programme and we expect that we will still need some funds.