A Call to End Polio

A Call to End Polio


ROTARY INTERNATIONAL April 2013 A Call to End Polio

Rotarians joined Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other supporters of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative on the steps of the U.S. Capitol 14 March to encourage Congress to continue to support the campaign to eradicate polio worldwide. The rally preceded a briefing for Congressional staff members on the importance of U.S. support for the campaign.
• Learn about the progress being made by Rotary and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
• Get the latest news from Rotary on the fight to finish polio.
• Follow stories about polio eradication on Rotary’s blog.End Polio Summit steps up efforts in Pakistan

At the End Polio Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, Rotarians committed to help make Pakistan polio-free by increasing advocacy aimed at government and religious leaders, immunizing migrant children at transit points, and conducting health camps and supporting local government councils in high-risk areas. The Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee organized the summit, which brought together representatives from Rotary International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Pakistani government, and others 9 March.

Rotarians recognize United Kingdom’s role in polio eradication - Five members of the Rotary Club of Sittingbourne Invicta, Kent, England, celebrated Rotary’s anniversary on 23 February by cycling through London to deliver a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. The letter recognized the United Kingdom’s role in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The cycle ride was part of the Rotarians’ training for a planned 150-mile ride in July to support the effort to End Polio Now.
Prime Minister Cameron wished the team the very best of luck in its fundraising efforts. “I salute Rotary’s unflagging efforts throughout the decades and in almost every country towards eradicating polio and ending the suffering it causes,” he said. “Rotary has made a huge contribution to the global campaign to reduce the burden of polio worldwide, but we still have much work to do to finish the job and eradicate it completely. The UK will work with all our partners to deliver a polio-free world for our children.”

What’s ahead- Global Vaccine Summit: Celebrating Progress, Saving Lives, 24-25 April, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Co-hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, in partnership with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates, cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Contribute to PolioPlus - The fight isn’t over. Polio is a crippling, potentially fatal infectious disease, and if we don’t finish the job of eradication, more than 10 million children under age five could be paralyzed in the next 40 years. For less than $1, a child can be vaccinated for life. Donate today.

Global Vaccine Summit yields US$4 billion in funding commitments to polio endgame plan -

The 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan and about US$4 billion in funding commitments took center stage at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi 24-25 April.

Developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the plan is designed to interrupt transmission of the wild poliovirus by the end of 2014, strengthen routine immunization, lay the groundwork for securing a lasting polio-free world, and transfer the eradication initiative's assets to other public health efforts.

The GPEI estimates the new plan will cost about US$5.5 billion. Governments, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and other donors announced the commitments during the vaccine summit. They also called upon additional donors to commit the additional US$1.5 billion needed to ensure eradication.

The Global Vaccine Summit was hosted by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in partnership with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The event drew 300 representatives from the GPEI partners and national governments, health experts, business leaders, and philanthropists. Rotary's International PolioPlus Committee Chair Robert Scott, India National PolioPlus Committee Chair Deepak Kapur, and PolioPlus Director Carol Pandak represented Rotary at the summit. Rotary polio ambassador and actress Archie Panjabi emceed the event.

"This plan isn't just a polio eradication plan, it's a global immunization plan with the goal of ending polio while improving efforts to protect all children, including the most vulnerable, with life-saving vaccines," said Gates. "Successful implementation of the plan requires a significant, but time-limited investment that will deliver a polio-free world and pay dividends for future generations."

Rotary International, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are global partners in the GPEI. One of Rotary's chief responsibilities in the worldwide effort is advocacy. In addition to contributing more than US$1.2 billion to the GPEI, Rotary has helped secure over $9 billion from donor governments since the initiative began in 1988. It is estimated that polio eradication could save the world US$40-50 billion by 2035.

Gates announced that his foundation would commit to one-third of the total cost of the GPEI's budget over the plan's six-year implementation, for a total of $1.8 billion. A new group of philanthropists joined Gates in supporting the new plan, with commitments of an additional $335 million: the Albert L. Ueltschi Foundation, Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation-Global, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carlos Slim Foundation, Dalio Foundation, Foundation for a Greater Opportunity established by Carl C. Icahn, and Tahir Foundation.

Long-time donors Canada, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom, as well as Nigeria, made new commitments, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi announced a second pledge to polio eradication of US$120 million, adding to his first contribution made in 2011. A range of other donors, including the Islamic Development Bank, Ireland, and Japan, helped round out the additional pledges.

Rotary, the initial donor to the GPEI, pledged its commitment through 2018 to raise funds and mobilize support of the endgame strategy. "To stop polio once and for all, we need to act quickly so that children are fully protected and countries are not re-infected," said RI President Sakuji Tanaka. "This takes the commitment of national and local leaders where polio still exists, the continued support of donor countries, and the steadfast commitment of heroic vaccinators."

Polio has decreased by 99 percent to just 22 cases this year (as of 24 April), and only three countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria – remain endemic for the disease. Without eradication, however, the disease could come back and paralyze more than 200,000 children worldwide every year within a decade.

The extensive polio eradication infrastructure established by the GPEI is also helping to fight measles, malaria, and other diseases, along with aiding response to disaster-related health emergencies. After polio is eradicated, the endgame plan calls for the transfer of the GPEI's assets to ensure lasting public health benefits.

"After millennia battling polio, this plan puts us within sight of the endgame," said World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan. "The extensive experience, infrastructure and knowledge gained from ending polio can help us reach all children and all communities with essential health services."

Highlights of Actions Taken by the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation - The Rotary Foundation Trustees met from 12–13 January 2013 in San Diego, CA, USA. The Trustees reviewed five committee reports and recorded 35 decisions. The following are highlights of actions taken. Administration - The Trustees elected Trustee Michael K. McGovern to serve as their vice-chairman in 2013–14.

Fund Development and Recognition - The Trustees selected forty-three Rotarians to receive The Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award, the Foundation's highest service recognition. The Trustees also selected the winner of The Rotary Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award to be presented at the 2013 RI (Lisbon) Convention, and also selected a winner of The Rotary Foundation Alumni Association of the Year Award, to be presented at the 2013 Rotary Alumni Celebration in Lisbon.

The Trustees changed some terminology used for the funds of the Foundation as follows: The Annual Programs Fund is now the Annual Fund; and the Rotary Foundation Permanent Fund is now the Endowment Fund.

Programs - The Trustees: agreed to recognize districts giving 20 percent or more of their available District Designated Funds to PolioPlus as a way of securing financial support until polio is eradicated, and requested the general secretary and International PolioPlus Committee chairman to develop the recognition plan;

* approved 10 Rotarians to receive the International Service Award for a Polio-Free World;

* approved PolioPlus grants to Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Horn of Africa, India, and Pakistan;

* expressed their condolences to the families impacted by the recent killings of health care workers during polio immunization campaigns in Pakistan and approved a grant of up to US$18,360 to the Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee to compensate the families;

* Agreed to provide blanket travel insurance coverage for individuals traveling on Rotary Foundation grants and Rotary peace fellowships, beginning 1 July 2013.

Foundation Facts (as of 31 December 2012)

Paul Harris Fellows: 1,369,091

Foundation Benefactors: 88,958

Major Donors: 17,417

Arch C. Klumph Society Members: 413

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