End Polio Now

Eradication  of Polio.


Following a Rotary grant  of $700,000 grant to the Philippines Government . to provide polio vaccine   over a 5 year period the number of polio cases in the Philippines was reduced  from 2000  in 1979  to  4  in 1985, Rotary thought  that polio, through a rolling programmer, could be eradicated from the world by year 2000.

They attended the World Health Assembly in New York in 1986 and made the suggestion and offered to provide  100million doses of vaccine  each year for 5 years which they would  donate to any poor country  who would  take up the offer.  The cost to Rotary   would be $125million.  By 1988 Rotarians had   raised $248million and returned back to the World Assembly.        A   consortium of WHO. U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and Rotary was formed to  manage the project.

In 1988, Polio was endemic in 125 countries and more than 350.000 cases were being reported  every year. By  year 2000  they-had reduced the number of cases to under 3000 a year. Contributions from the richer Countries of the world had been encouraged but Rotary POLIO funds were running low. Another fund raising was initiated to raise $100million. The  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation generously doubled the funds to $200million. They are now the fifth member of the consortium. Slowly the number  of cases      have been reduced annually. By 2013 the number was just over 200.

Young fundraisers helping to raise awareness and money for the ongoing vaccination programme by selling crocus lapel badges.

The   Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation suggested to Rotary that if they raised up to  $35million each  year for the next 5 years   they would treble the amounts raised . The number of cases have continued to decrease every year, 70 in 2015, 37 in 2016. The disease is endemic in only 3 countries now,  Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Immunization needs to continue  for three years  after the last case   has been reported. and then the world can be declared Free From Polio. This  is Rotary’s LEGACY  to the children of the world , NOT JUST THIS GENERATION BUT  ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS.