Oct 24 – World Polio Day

This week we were back at our usual meeting spot, the Pan Pacific Mountainside.  Joining us this week was Mary Ann’s sister, Rachel and Area District Governor, Murray Wood, our speaker for the day. 

Murray gave an excellent presentation on Polio and Rotary’s Polio Plus program.  Rotary has been involved in Polio prevention since at least the 1970’s with the formal program Polio Plus starting in 1985.  Rotary International launched PolioPlus and spearheaded the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that has immunized over 2.5 billion children to date; polio cases have dropped by 99.9 percent from 350,000 in 1988 to 22 in 2017 and the world stands on the threshold of eradicating the disease forever.

To date, Rotary has contributed US$1.8 billion and is working to raise an additional $150 million to be matched with a $300 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; WE ARE SO CLOSE!!! It is apparent that we need to keep at it as we don’t want to see this scourge return

“Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years, and we’ve made incredible progress in the fight to rid the world of it forever.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we’ve helped to reduced polio cases by more than 99.9 percent.

It’s crucial to eliminate polio from the last three countries where it remains endemic and to keep other countries polio-free.

If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.” from https://my.rotary.org/en/take-action/end-polio

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