2017-10-25 / Front Page

Join the fight to end polio!

Blakely Rotarians are part of many initiatives and projects locally, in District 9600, nationwide and worldwide. None are more important however than the eradication of polio!

Rotary clubs worldwide hosted events in conjunction with Rotary International’s fifth annual World Polio Day celebration Oct. 24.

“Fast Facts” about Polio and Rotary’s fight against it: 1988, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative began, polio paralyzed more than 1,000 children worldwide every day.

Since then, more than 2.5 billion children have been immunized against polio thanks to the cooperation of more than 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, backed by an international investment of more than $11 billion.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private funding source of the GPEI and matches all donations to Rotary for polio twoto one, up to $35 million per year.

Rotary is giving $49.5 million in grants this year to support immunization and surveillance activities led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

There are now only three countries that have never stopped polio transmission (Afganistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) and global incidence of polio cases has decreased by 99 percent.

However, tackling the last one percent of polio cases has still proved to be difficult. Conflict, political instability, hardto reach populations, and poor infrastructure continue to pose challenges to eradicating the disease.

Each country offers a unique set of challenges which require local solutions.

Thus, in 2013 the Global Polio Eradication Initiative launched its most comprehensive and ambitious plan for completely eradicating polio. It is an all-encompassing strategic plan that clearly outlines measures for eliminating polio in its last strongholds and for maintaining a polio-free world.

For more information about polio eradication and Rotary, visit a local Rotarian of www.rotary.org.

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