Japan Supports Polio Eradication Project In India
UNICEF India gets $2.1 million contribution from government and people of Japan will be used to help ensure India’s most inaccessible and marginalized children remain protected from polio
NEW DELHI, India, 5 August 2009 – His Excellency Hideaki Domichi, the Japanese Ambassador to India, and Ms. Karin Hulshof, UNICEF India Representative signed a memorandum of understanding today, on a contribution of 205 million yen (approximately $2.1 million) from the government of Japan for the eradication of poliomytis in India.
These funds will be made available to UNICEF India through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), with whom UNICEF signed a Grant Agreement.
The contribution from the government and people of Japan will be used for the procurement of oral polio vaccine (OPV) to help ensure that some of India’s most inaccessible and marginalized children remain protected from polio.
Ms. Karin Hulshof thanked the Government of Japan for their continuing support and faith in UNICEF’s mission to eradicate polio. SIndia continues to make significant progress against polio. There has been an absolute reduction in the burden of disease with only 30 Type 1 polio cases reported so far this year, as compared to 75 last year.
he expressed her confidence that this collaboration, now over a decade long, will succeed in eradicating polio and continue thereafter in other ways to promote a better life for India’s children.
She also acknowledged the leadership of the Government of India in the Polio Eradication programme along with valuable partners like the World Health Organization, CDC, USAID, Rotary international, CIDA and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who have come together in this joint effort in the fight against Polio.
His Excellency Hideaki Domichi expressed his appreciation of UNICEF India’s continuing efforts in eradicating polio and noted the importance of this mission given that India is the most populous of the four remaining countries (Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India) in which the polio virus remains.
The Government of Japan has been supporting polio eradication in the North Eastern states since 1996.
India continues to make significant progress against polio. There has been an absolute reduction in the burden of disease with only 30 Type 1 polio cases reported so far this year, as compared to 75 last year.
Furthermore, transmission of the virus is more geographically clustered than ever before and the more virulent Type 1 polio is struggling to survive – not a single type 1 outbreak has occurred outside of U.P. and Bihar in 2009.
The polio eradication campaign in India is the largest in the world, with more then 172 million children under the age of five receiving OPV during national Immunization Days.