Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine preventable.
In 1985, Rotary launched it POLIO PLUS program, the first initiative to tack global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.5 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary's advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion to the effort.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, formed in 1988, is a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, The World Health Organizations, The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and governments of the world. Rotary's focus is advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and awareness building.
ROTARY & POLIO
Today, there are only two countries that continue to transmit the polio virus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Less than 75 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2015, which a reduction of more than 99.9% since the 1980s when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.
These remaining cases are the most difficult to present due to particularly limiting factors that include geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. Until polio is completely eradicated, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks.
ROTARY IN ACTION: More than 1 million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio, working s. side-by-side with health workers, preparing and distributing mass communication tools to reach people in isolated areas transporting vaccine and providing other logistical support.
HELP ROTARY END POLIO BY DONATING AS LITTLE OR AS MUCH AS YOU WISH TO POLIO PLUS TODAY!