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Rotary's Involvement in Polio Eradication
Rotary's involvement in polio eradication began in 1979 with a five-year commitment to provide and help deliver polio vaccine to six million children of the Philippines. However, over the years, Rotary’s role in eliminating this disease has expanded considerably. Rotary's pledge of US$120 million to fund its PolioPlus program was announced in October 1985 at the 40th anniversary of the United Nations. This ambitious commitment electrified the global public health community. Within three years, Rotarians had more than doubled their fundraising goal, donating US$247 million. By the time the world is certified polio-free, Rotary's contributions to the global polio eradication effort will exceed US$600 million. Below is a video of a recent event held by Rotary International to further the polio eradication efforts.
Although there has been much progress in eliminating this terrible disease, much still needs to be done until the entire world is certified to be polio free. At the start of 2006, transmission of indigenous polio virus had been interrupted in all but four countries (Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan). However, between early 2003 and mid-2005, polio virus spread to 21 previously polio-free countries. As of January 2006, only 8 of these countries were still reporting cases (Indonesia, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, Angola, Nepal, Niger and Chad).
Our Club is aiding in this effort in two ways. The first is to educate our community about the continued need to fight this disease. The second is to raise money to continue fighting the spread of Polio. If you would like more information about PolioPlus and what we are doing to support the program please contact us. Visit the International Rotary website for more information about what Rotary is doing on an international level.