Meet the five Africans among TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2020

Ama Nunoo September 24, 2020
Photo: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Tunji Funsho

Nigeria was declared polio-free on August 25, 2020 thanks to the contributions of yet another ‘Titan’ Dr. Funsho, a famed Nigerian cardiologist and chair of Rotary International’s polio eradication program in Nigeria.

Jeffrey Kluger wrote, “The person who did more than any other to drive polio to continent-wide extinction was Dr. Tunji Funsho, a former cardiologist and now the chair of Rotary International’s polio-­eradication program in Nigeria.

“Funsho could have retired years ago, but in 2013, with polio still paralyzing children across Nigeria, he decided to step up to lead the Rotarians’ effort. Together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO, the CDC and UNICEF, Funsho and Rotary helped lead National Immunization Days, getting millions of doses of the polio vaccine to children in cities and villages around the nation.

“They also sponsored health-­education initiatives at community centers, mosques and even birthday parties. This summer, the country marked four years without a case of wild polio, qualifying it for its polio-free certification, leaving Afghanistan and Pakistan as the only places in the world in which polio remains endemic.”


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