Gives US$35 million to end polio worldwide
"We are closer than ever to achieving
a polio-free world," said Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary's
International PolioPlus Committee. "To ensure that no child
ever again suffer the devastating effects of this disease, we must
all ensure that the necessary funds and political will are firmly
in place in 2016."
In September 2015, one of the three strains
of the wild poliovirus – Type 2 – was certified as eradicated,
with no cases since 1999. Type 3 has not been seen anywhere in the
world since November 2012.
Pakistan, which continues to report the majority
of the world's polio cases, reduced its caseload by 82 percent in
2015 over the previous year.
Additional funds will support efforts to keep
other at-risk countries polio-free: Nigeria ($5.5), Cameroon ($1.6
million), Chad ($2 million); Ethiopia ($4.1 million), Somalia ($1.8
million), Iraq ($1.6 million) and India ($618,000). Finally, $355,000
in funds will be dedicated to polio research.
Rotary launched its polio immunization program
PolioPlus in 1985 and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the
Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the WHO, UNICEF, and the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was later
joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the initiative
launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9
percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 70 confirmed to date
Rotary has contributed more than $1.5 billion
and countless volunteer hours to fight polio. Through 2018, every
dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one
by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million a year.
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Rotary eClub NY1 * Updated 2016