After more than 20 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease, but a strong push is needed now to root it out once and for all. It was an Australian, Clem Renouf, Rotary International President 1978/79, who first had the concept that Rotary could be part of eradicating disease. He telephoned fellow Rotarian and infectious disease expert, Dr John Sever in the US, who after a period of thought advised that Rotary should focus on polio. We now have a window of opportunity of historic proportions. India has just successfully completed three years polio free. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are still at risk and outbreaks have occured in other countries such as Syria and Somalia, but 99% of the task is done. We need you to help us finish the final 1%.
Following Rotary’s successful matching an initial $100 million challenge grant, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a new matching program, two for one, up to US$35 million per year, until the job is done. These funds will directly support immunization campaigns in developing countries, where polio continues to infect and paralyze children, robbing them of their futures and compounding the hardships faced by their families. As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high.
Go to http://www.endpolio.org/ to learn more. Donate online or join our club fundraising activities.