Polio Eradication

Current position in June 2013: still a remarkable result so far in 2013, but the phrase ‘we cannot be complacent’ is illustrated by the recently reported cases in Somalia and Kenya – a synopsis of the world wide position is illustrated in the table below.

The endemic countries are those where Polio has never been eradicated and the non-endemic countries are those that have enjoyed often quite long periods without Polio and then reoccurrence by migration has occurred.

Reported cases as of 12th June 2013 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 This time in 2012 Year to date in 2013
Endemic 1505 1256 232 341 217 70 41
Non-endemic countries 146 348 1120 309 6 3 14
Global Total 1651 1604 1352 650 223 73 55

Pushing Polio to the Brink of Eradication

Rotary clubs take on $200 million challenge from the Gates Foundation Rotary clubs here and around the world are determined to do whatever it takes to achieve a world free of the crippling disease polio.  A major part of that effort is to raise $200 million in response to a challenge grant of $355 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

That may seem a daunting task, but Rotary’s track record shows it can be done with perseverance and hard work.

Since launching its landmark PolioPlus Program in 1985 we have contributed nearly $800 million to the cause, not to mention countless volunteer hours logged by Rotary members.

Although the polio epidemic may be a distant memory to many — cases have been slashed by 99 percent worldwide — it still threatens children in parts of Africa and South Asia. For 50p worth of oral polio vaccine, a child can be protected for life.

However, a major funding gap now faces the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, of which Rotary is a spearheading partner (along with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF). Twenty years of steady progress is at stake, and polio — now on the ropes — stands to stage a dangerous comeback unless the funding gap is bridged.

In response to the funding crisis, Rotary eagerly accepted a US$355 million challenge grant from the Gates Foundation, which Rotary will match with an additional US$200 million over three years, raising a much needed US$555 million, all of it dedicated to polio eradication. Rotary’s worldwide membership of 1.2 million men and women — representing about 33,000 clubs in nearly 200 countries — immediately embraced the effort by digging deeper into their own pockets, planning special fundraisers and rallying community support.

Rotary invites everyone who wants to learn more about this historic opportunity to end polio once and for all to visit: www.endpolio.org