The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), is a Rotary Polio Eradication Partner and  a major supporter of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Importantly, BMGF matches all individual Rotarian donations to Polio Plus on a 2 to 1 basis, meaning for every dollar donated to Polio Plus by a Rotarian, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates two dollars
 

   Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continue their longstanding support for ending polio – a paralyzing, life-altering scourge on the verge of becoming the second human disease ever to be eliminated. Rotary will raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Gates Foundation. This agreement will translate into $450 million for polio eradication activities, including immunization and surveillance over the next three years. This critical funding helps ensure countries around the world remain polio-free and that polio is ended in the remaining two endemic countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

   The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) contributes technical and financial resources to accelerate targeted vaccination campaigns, community mobilization, and routine immunizations. BMGF works with partners to improve polio surveillance and outbreak response; develop safer, more effective vaccines; and galvanize financial and political support for polio eradication efforts. BMGF has a unique ability to contribute by taking big risks and making non-traditional investments. Examples include investments in vaccine research; funding of geographic information system (GIS) maps to replace hand-drawn maps for polio eradication campaign planning; and the continued support of  emergency operations centers in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

   By improving outreach, staffing, and data collection and analysis, polio vaccination campaigns can achieve the required immunization coverage to reach Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) goals. 

   A key objective is to improve the quality of campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as other countries where population immunity to polio is persistently low. With eradication in sight, it is more important than ever that countries sustain high-quality campaigns, even if they have no active polio cases.

   The GPEI’s polio eradication strategy focuses on national and local campaigns in the highest-risk countries to provide all children with multiple doses of oral polio vaccine. Efforts include door-to-door immunization in areas where poliovirus is known or suspected, as well as in areas that have risk of reimportation, limited access to health care, high population density and mobility, poor sanitation, and/or low routine immunization coverage.

   The GPEI is also implementing a comprehensive new strategy to stop the spread of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs)—rare forms of the virus that can occur in underimmunized populations. In partnership with affected countries, the GPEI aims to carry out more aggressive, higher-quality outbreak response and strengthen routine immunization in high-risk areas.

   Want to learn more? For details on how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  supports the polio eradication campaign, see https://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/Global-Development/Polio, and check out Rotary’s focus at https://www.endpolio.org/