Even though Polio is nearly nonexistent, only 37 people in the world are currently suffering from the disease, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation still has concerns about the disease making a comeback now that Trump has been elected. Because the Trump administration may cut the limit on how much foreign aid philanthropic bodies can spend on public health projects in at-risk countries, the fear monger and his foundation are going public with their concern.
Rob Nabors, director of US policy, advocacy, and communications at the Gates Foundation, says budget cuts could mean “less interaction between the Gates Foundation and the US government, including its work with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and a number of other federal programs. At-risk countries wouldn’t receive as much help in those cases.”
And true, the proposed cuts aren’t small, in fact, they are the biggest since the 1970s; Trump’s new budget would shrink the foreign-aid budget by 31%, from $30 billion in 2017 to $20.7 billion in 2018.
But, depending on who you ask and believe (because there are those who believe the Polio vaccine actually increased the amount of cases of Polio when it was introduced and it had no part in actually creating a decline in the disease) Polio has been on the decline since 1923, in the U.S., thanks to better sanitation. And by most accounts, by 1994 all of North and South America and China had eradicated the disease, Europe followed a couple years later, and India’s last case came around 15 years after that.
However, Gates and Nabor believe it’s been due to education and vaccination so cutting budgets leads them to fear a scenario where polio makes a strong resurgence in African and Middle Eastern countries.
Source: UK Business Insider