The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will contributee $2.2 million to support the efforts of the government of Madagascar to eradicate polio in the country. Over 4.3 million Malagasy children under the age of five will directly benefit from this support.
In Madagascar, the last wild polio virus case occurred in 1997. Since then, a small number of vaccine-derived polio virus cases have been found in different parts of the country. Unvaccinated children are susceptible to either strain of thevirus; a fully immunized population will be protected against both.
To address these concerns regarding polio in Madagascar, the Ministry of Health and its partners developed an emergency response plan last year which consists of a series of immunization campaigns. The first was conducted in six northwestern regions in December 2014, followed by a second nation-wide campaign in April 2015. A third campaign is scheduled for early August, and a fourth one is planned for September.“We are pleased to be partnering with the government of Madagascar, our international partners, and civil society actors to support these efforts,” said U.S. Ambassador Robert T. Yamate. “Our common goal is to ensure that all children inMadagascar are vaccinated.”The United States has already provided over half a million dollars to ongoing efforts to polio surveillance activities. The infusion of this new tranche of $2.2 million will significantly enhance the government of Madagascar’s efforts to eradicate the disease.