The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie marks historic progress toward a polio-free world, while urging community support to end the paralyzing disease
Rotary members in Sault Ste. Marie are among millions reaching out on October 24, World Polio Day, to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio – a vaccine preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.
Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative 30 years ago, more than 2.5 billion children have received oral polio vaccine, increasing the number of the world’s children living in polio-free countries from 10% to over 95%. It costs US$3.00 to fully protect a child against polio, including the cost of the vaccine and activities required to deliver the vaccine. Thanks to global support, 650,000 paralytic cases of polio are now prevented every year.
Today, wild poliovirus transmission is at the lowest levels ever, with fewer cases reported from fewer areas of fewer countries than ever before. In 2017, there were only 22 cases of wild poliovirus reported from Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Despite tremendous progress, as long as indigenous wild poliovirus transmission continues anywhere in the world, the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains, and this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.
To protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million per year in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1. Rotary has contributed more than US$1.8 billion to ending polio since 1985, making Rotary the leading non-governmental voluntary organization contributor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
If you would like to make a donation towards eradicating polio, you can do so at the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie office at 364 Queen Street East or online at http://EndPolio.org.