DFID allocates £100m to help eradicate polio

8 Aug 17

International development secretary Priti Patel has allocated a further £100m to aid world-wide eradication of polio. 

The funding will help immunise 45m children each year until 2020 in the final stage of work to fight the disease, Patel said.

The virus still exists only in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, with a total of just eight new cases this year.

It is expected the last new case will be diagnosed this year, with the aim of the world being certified polio-free by 2020.

Eradication would save some £2bn globally by 2025 as health care systems are freed up from treating victims.

Patel said: “Polio has no place in the 21st Century. This devastating and highly infectious disease causes painful paralysis and is incurable – trapping the world’s poorest people in a cycle of grinding poverty.

“The UK has been at the forefront of fighting global health threats, including polio, and our last push towards eradication by 2020 will save 45 million children from contracting this disease.”

Polio was wiped out in the UK in the 1980, though there are more than 100,000 British survivors today.

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