When Rotary began the fight in 1985, polio affected 350,000 people, mostly children. Since then, polio has been reduced by more than 99 percent. To date, Rotary has contributed more than US $1 billion and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries. After nearly 30 years, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is on the brink of making history.
Why polio eradication matters:
We are closer than ever before to ending polio. The year 2012 ended with the fewest polio cases in the fewest places in history. We have a unique opportunity to end polio, making it only the second human disease to be wiped from the globe. Investing in reaching the most vulnerable children with the polio vaccine leads the way to reaching them with other life-saving resources. The legacy of the polio eradication campaign is to provide a road map for tackling other diseases. A win against polio is a win for global health.
Rotary’s chief role is fundraising, advocacy, and mobilizing volunteers. Other partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UN Foundation, and UNICEF, along with world governments. Every dollar Rotary raises (up to US $35 million/year) will be matched two-to-one by the Gates Foundation for polio eradication efforts through 2018.
Rotary and Northwestern University’s Center for Global Health will host a live streamed global update on polio eradication on World Polio Day, Oct. 24. Join the World Polio Day: Making History live event by visiting endpolionow.org.
Rotary is comprised of citizens from various backgrounds and disciplines who volunteer their time to make positive differences locally in Cynthiana and internationally. Rotarians strive to make the world a better place while placing “Service Above Self.” Cynthiana Rotary has had a charter since 1923 and is preparing for their 90 year celebration.