Rotary and Ending Polio
Rotary, along with our partners, has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We are close to eradicating polio, but we need your help. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, here are some ways to make a global impact and protect children against polio forever.
Our Club makes donations to Polio Plus every year. Those funds along with all the contributions made by Rotary worldwide are matched 2 to 1 by the Gates Foundation.
Fulfilling Our Promise: Eradicate Polio In 1985,
Rotary International launched PolioPlus, a 20-year commitment to eradicate polio. PolioPlus is one of the most ambitious humanitarian undertakings ever made by a private entity. It will serve as a paradigm for private-public collaborations in the fight against disease well into the 21st century. As the polio-eradication program grew, so did Rotary's commitment and involvement. By 1990, Rotary moved from providing polio vaccine to children in developing countries to assisting health care workers in the field, providing training for laboratory personnel to track the polio virus and working with governments around the world in supporting the historic health drive. Rotary looks to celebrate the global eradication of polio in 2005, the organization's centennial year. How is Rotary involved in the global polio-eradication effort?
In 1985, Rotary was recognized by the World Health Organization as a non-governmental organization working in the field of international health. In the same year, Rotary set a goal to raise US$120 million to provide oral polio vaccine to newborns in the developing world. When the campaign ended, Rotary had doubled its goal, collecting more than $247 million. To date, the PolioPlus program has contributed $373 million to the protection of nearly 2 billion children. By 2005, Rotary's financial commitment will reach nearly $500 million.
With its community-based network worldwide, Rotary is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. Rotary volunteers assist in vaccine delivery, social mobilization, and logistical help in co-operation with the national health ministries, WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rotary's volunteer efforts were instrumental in the eradication of polio from the Western Hemisphere, which was certified polio-free in 1994. Why Polio? In 1985, Rotary created PolioPlus -- a program to immunize all the world's children against polio by 2005 Rotary's centennial. PolioPlus is one of the most ambitious humanitarian undertakings made by a private entity ever. It will serve as a paradigm for private/public collaborations in the fight against disease well into the next century. Rotary's PolioPlus program is a shining example of the achievements made possible by cooperation between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations. Kofi Annan, Secretary General, United Nations. Australia, Denmark, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States are now major financial donors to this historic health initiative. continue.