8 September 2017
PRESS RELEASE
The New Zealand Government has confirmed it will contribute to Rotary New Zealand new funding for the Global
Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to help the global fight to end polio.
They will provide a further NZ $5 million to contribute to ending polio transmission in the last remaining countries of
Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. New Zealand funding to GPEI will purchase and distribute polio vaccines; support
polio surveillance and monitoring; fund immunisation campaigns and strengthen routine immunisation systems.
Through the work of GPEI and donors, including New Zealand, an estimated 16 million people are active who would
have otherwise been paralysed by polio, and the world has saved more than US$27 billion in health costs.
Rotary New Zealand www.rnzwcs.org gratefully acknowledges the support of Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee
and his officials who have worked collaboratively with them to achieve this outcome. GPEI Rotary spokesperson in
New Zealand, Stuart Batty said “The New Zealand Government can be justly proud as it continues its support to this
important global initiative, and this announcement brings their total funding for GPEI to in excess of NZ $10 million”.
The world has made great gains in the fight against polio. The incidence of the disease has decreased by more than
99 per cent since 1988, with just ten recorded cases of polio so far in 2017.
Rotary is committed to ensure that this success is continued to the point where there are no new polio cases. If one
case remains, the risk that polio could resurge and spread to countries that are now polio-free remains. “When polio
has been removed, it will join smallpox as the only human diseases to be permanently eradicated from the world.”
Stuart Batty said.
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