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Rotary moving forward on polio eradication

October 18, 2015

Service Clubs

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Rotary — the global organization composed of more than 34,000 community-based Rotary clubs — has been a leader in the fight to eradicate polio since 1985, when it launched PolioPlus, the first global initiative to immunize children against polio.

As the volunteer arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has contributed more than $1.4 billion and countless volunteer hours in an effort to end the disease.

In 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio annually, in 125 countries — about 1,000 cases per day. Rotary and its partners have reduced that figure by more than 99.9 percent, and in 2014, there were fewer than 400 cases in the entire world.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members in more than 34,000 Rotary clubs around the world. Their work improves lives at both the local and international level, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) will certify a country or region as polio-free when it goes three years without a single case of polio. In 2014, India and its Southeast Asia region was declared polio-free and, while Nigeria's last case occurred on July 24, 2014, the net two years will be critical in ensuring that no cases recur.

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Through 2018, every dollar that Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $35 million a year. To date, more than 2.5 billion children have been immunized against the paralyzing and sometimes deadly poliovirus.

 The Rotary Club of Port Elgin, has long supported efforts to end this crippling disease, through yearly donations afforded by numerous community fundraising events. 

The Rotary Clubs of Port Elgin and Southampton encourage Saugeen Shores residents to support Rotary’s efforts to end polio by visiting www.endpolio.org  to donate and to learn more or visit www.rotary.org .


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