Rotary has been at the forefront of the world’s efforts to end Polio since 1985 when it launched Polio Plus, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children.
In 1988 the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was formed, a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and governments of the world.
Rotary has contributed more than £1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than £5 billion to the effort.
Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild polio virus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Just 37 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2016, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.
This year to date there have only been 3 cases, all in Afghanistan.
We take part in a number of awareness and fundraising events to support these efforts. We’re currently involved in a sponsored event to raise funds, which you can read more about here.