Lake Tahoe livestream concert dedicated to Rotary's End Polio Now campaign

Laverne Higgins
October 25, 2020

But Rotary knows it is crucial to continue the fight or within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.

Perera also explained that the recent outbreak of the third wave of the COVID-19 has forced them to alter their campaign plans this year, however Rotary has found an alternate medium to spread the message via newspapers, social media, and so on. In fact, India has been free of this endemic as recently as 2012, and in 2014 WHO announced that nearly 80% of the world is free from Polio. Active cases today are limited to just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He maintained that polio is a menace that the world needs to get rid of. A delegation of Rotary International leaders from around the world who leads efforts for Rotary's Pakistan Polio Plus program traveled to Pakistan in February 2020 to meet with government leaders, including Prime Minister Imran Khan.

And there is still work to do on polio. Only the global eradication of polio will ensure that no child ever again suffers its devastating effects. "So we need to keep on helping people to understand what it means to prevent polio for life", she told host of JoyFM's Home Affairs, Edem Knight Tay. Rotary International through The Rotary Foundation plays a critical role in an international effort to eradicate polio worldwide.

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When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. All of Africa was declared polio-free on August 25.

Funsho has been a Rotarian for 35 years and vividly recalls the days when over 75,000 African children were diagnosed with polio every year. They engaged with some of the major donors of the GPEI and visited the National Emergency Operations Centre, where a high-tech data collection system monitored progress in real-time having 230 Rotary clubs and almost 3400 Rotary members in Pakistan only.Regardless of how thorough the improved vaccination campaigns are, the overall polio eradication effort in Pakistan hinges on a single, crucial touch point: community trust.

To date, Rotary itself has contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protecting more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. That is $16,638.75. And there's a national 2 to 1 match by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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