Polio+ Celebrates 30th Anniversary

This year marks 30 years since Rotary launched Polio Plus, its campaign to rid the world of polio. Beginning on Rotary’s anniversary, 23 February, Rotary members worldwide will be holding events to celebrate three decades of polio eradication progress.   Please consider how your club can use this date to increase public awareness and raise new funds for Polio Eradication

The effort to eradicate Polio has been long and demanding.  Perseverance more than a billion dollars in financial support have achieved remarkable progress.

Giving oral polio vaccineLess than a decade ago, achieving a polio-free India seemed an impossible challenge. But with novel strategies and strong government ownership, the country reported its last case of wild polio on 13 January 2011. As India marks five years without a wild polio case, we are reminded that with the right level of commitment and ingenuity, we can end polio everywhere. We are also seeing India’s polio infrastructure support routine immunization, and lessons from India are helping stop polio in the remaining endemic countries.

Since 1985 Rotary and its partners have helped reduce the number of cases from 350,000 annually to fewer than 400 in 2014, and they remain committed until the disease is eradicated. Rotary has contributed more than $1.3 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2 billion children worldwide. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute over $10 billion to the effort.

IMPORTANT MILESTONES

  • INDIA has new been polio free for FIVE YEARS.
  • SYRIA, though suffering conflicts and ongoing war, has not had a case of polio in TWO YEARS
  • NIGERIA has been polio free for 18 MONTHS.

POLIO NEWS

  • NO CASES of polio have been reported yet in 2016. By this time in 2015 there were three cases.  The main number of cases will be expected to appear in warmer months.
  • No environmental Wild Polio Virus Type 1 has been detected in environmental samples since December, 2015.
  • A suicide bomber attacked polio vaccinators in Quetta, Pakistan on January 16, killing 16 and injuring more than 10. Thirteen of the fatalities were policemen who laid down their lives to protect polio workers from the threat of further violence.  Pakistan has suffered multiple assassinations of polio workers and their protectors during recent years.  The attacks are emblematic of the ignorance and false information spread by Islamist militant groups who believe vaccinations are a west attempt to sterilize their children.
  • Large polio vaccination campaigns are taking place in Nigeria, and India and are also underway in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most countries across the world continue, although there remain challenges in southeast Asia and Africa in achieving sufficient vaccination rates to protect against an outbreak.
  • World Health Leaders are hopeful that 2016 may be the year when polio is permanently interrupted. There were 72 cases of wild polio virus worldwide in 2015, mostly in Pakistan (53) with a few in Afghanistan (19).

DISTRICT 5630 GIVING for the JULY 2015 – JUNE 2016 ROTARY YEAR

As of the end of January, our District contributions to Polio Plus totaled $19,604.55 for the year to date.  This is 41.49% of our MINIMUM goal of $47,250.00.   We have less than five months to raise the remaining 58.51% if we are to achieve this.  Please keep Polio Plus on your priority list for projects through the remainder of the year.

About JoAnne Hoatson