Nigeria has given the its green light to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to start the repayment of 76 million dollars polio eradication facility to Japan.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, revealed this when she received a delegation of Japanese House of Councillors Parliamentarians.
She added that the approval for repayment was given to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation following the eradication of polio in the country. She noted that the eradication of polio was made possible as a result of the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) facility provided by the Japanese Government valued at 76 million dollars in 2014.
She recalled that the ODA was structured for repayment after four years and that by this development, Bill and Mellinda Gates Foundation would start repaying the facility to Japan this year.
Nigeria has been pursuing eradication of polio for more than two decades. To be certified polio-free, the nation needs to maintain zero case status, strengthen surveillance system, improve routine immunization and maintain high quality campaigns. The road to eradication of polio is hinged more on improved vaccine coverage and supplementary immunization
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), also known as the Gates Foundation, is a private foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest private foundation in the US, holding $38 billion in assets. The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington is controlled by its three trustees: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffet.
In 1988 when wild polio virus was in more than 125 countries, paralyzing 350,000 people every year — the World Health Assembly launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GEPI) to help eliminate the disease through a mass immunization campaign.
In 2007 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined other major health organizations already committed to the GPEI, contributing nearly $3 billion toward eradicating polio by 2020.Today 12 cases of polio virus exist in two countries, and the Gates Foundation is committed to eradicating this scourge.