Nigeria: Goodluck Jonathan, President, Nigeria, announced NGN 4.8 billion (NGN: Nigerian Naira) funding for 2012 with an aim to eradicate polio. He made this announcement during a media event, hosted by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Perth, Australia. In 2011, the Nigerian government funded NGN 2.7 billion for the same purpose.
Jonathan explained that the country has been utilising GIS maps to help locate children that are frequently missed during vaccination campaigns. In addition, GPS technology was used to track the movement of vaccinator teams. The increase in funding is expected to boost Nigeria’s eradication efforts and help close the funding gap of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), by allowing the GPEI to use its limited resources to help other countries struggling to eliminate polio
“Nigeria plays a unique role in the global effort to eradicate this terrible disease. I am fully aware of our special responsibilities both to our children, as well as all of Africa and the world. I want to assure you that we are fully prepared to deliver on our promise. Nigeria will stop polio because of the extraordinary efforts underway in our country,” said President Jonathan.
During the event, the Australian government announced AUD 50 million (AUD: Australian Dollar) fund to the GPEI while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced AUD 40 million fund for the GPEI.