How Rotary is Helping to Eradicate Polio

polio 3Internationally Rotary has been involved in some major projects which, by working with Rotary Clubs in other countries, can make changes happen on a massive scale.   An example of this is Polio Plus.

PolioPlus Global Eradication of Polio

  • Polio Plus has been Rotary International’s primary effort for over 20 years
  • 20 years ago there 125 countries where polio was endemic
  • Working with Governments & health professionals we have almost eradicated polio
  • In 2009 there were just 4 countries – Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan where polio was still endemic
  • In January 2009 Bill Gates stated in a speech in San Diego that “Rotary in particular has inspired my own personal commitment to get deeply involved in achieving eradication.”
  • Bill Gates offered a gift of USD$355 million to Rotary if we could raise a further US$200 Million by June 2012. This challenge was met by January 2012
  • In February 2012 India had been polio free for a year and was removed from the list of countries where polio is endemic.
  • The work continues to keep India free of polio and this means regular vaccination of the 172 million children under 5 years of age.
  • The next NID (National immunisation Day) is on 24th February 2013 when Rotary  volunteers from all over the world, including approximately 60 from the UK,  will spend the day in Delhi and various locations in Uttar Pradesh vaccinating children.

The work carries on in other countries and you can follow the link to see just how difficult it can be to carry out this work in countries such as Pakistan.

Bill Gates spoke about his continued passion for the eradication of polio, and why it is so important, in the Dimbleby Lecture which he delivered at the end of January 2013.

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