Sunday, October 17, 2021

Rotary Helps Fund Polio Eradication Initiative

Submitted Photo | Barry Rassin, Rotary International President for 2018-2019.

Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years and is a founding member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. At the end of the 1980s, more than 350,000 children were paralyzed with polio every year. The cases of polio have been decreased by 99.9% since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We’ve helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. So far Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion towards eradicating the disease worldwide. Today polio remains endemic in only Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it is crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio free. If all eradication efforts were stopped today, within 10 years polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year. Before the world can be polio free, eradication efforts need additional funding to:

  • Immunize 400 million children every year.
  • Improve surveillance and monitoring systems to diagnose new cases and detect the wild polio viruses.
  • Hire 150,000 volunteers to go door to door to find every child.

Top 5 Reasons to Eradicate Polio Now:

To Improve Lives: 18 million people are walking today who would have otherwise been paralyzed.

To Improve Child Health: Not only will a polio free world be safer for children everywhere, but polio surveillance networks and vaccination campaigns also monitor and treat children for other health problems like Vitamin D and A deficiencies, measles, malaria, ebola.. . They provide bed nets, soap, health education, and hand-operated tricycles and jobs to polio survivors. Clean water, sanitation and nutrition for all are part of GPEI’s end game strategy.

To Save Money: A polio-free world will save the global economy $40-50 billion in health care costs over the next 20 years.

To Make History: Eradicating polio would be one of the world’s greatest public health achievements with polio following smallpox to be only the second disease to be eliminated from the world.

Matching Funds: Your money will be matched by the Bill Gates Foundation saving even more lives.

Please help Rotary achieve this humanitarian goal. Contact Linda Sandlin, Rotary Club of Marco Island International Chair, at 239-777-9200 or to make your tax free donation. For more information visit and search for Polio Plus.

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