End Polio Now is the most ambitious programme in Rotary's history. For more than 30 years Rotary has led the global effort to rid the world of this crippling disease.
To eradicate polio, Rotarians have mobilised thousands of our members and friends. They're working to ensure that children are immunised and that surveillance is strong despite the poor infrastructure, extreme poverty, and civil strife of many countries. Since the PolioPlus programme's inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received the oral polio vaccine.
Today more than 16 million people are walking who would have been paralysed by the disease. More than 1.5 million childhood deaths have been prevented. Once polio is eradicated, the world will be able to celebrate a major global advantage that will benefit all children, whatever their origins.
The goal of a polio free world is tantalisingly close. Wild polio virus type 2 has been eradicated and there have been no cases of type 3 for four years. Only in Pakistan and remote parts of Afghanistan and Nigeria is the Wild Type 1 polio virus circulating.
There have also been 21 cases of cVDPV in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 74 cases of cVDPV in Syria. Although this is disappointing, it is not a setback and vaccination programmes in Syria have been stepped up. To read a full account of cVDPV in Syria, click here.
To read a summary, click here.
Final position for 2016
Just 20 cases of WPV1 in Pakistan compared with 53 in 2015. A recent report shows that the cases are confined to fewer districts in Pakistan and the percentage of WPV in environmental samples has halved.
13 cases in Afghanistan compared with 19 in 2015.
4 cases in Nigeria, the first cases in the country since July 2014. Unfortunately this has resulted in Nigeria being returned to the list of polio-endemic countries. Rotary remains steadfast and fully committed to fighting polio anywhere children remain at risk, including Nigeria and Africa. Rotary members in Nigeria are already hard at work to support the outbreak response, and our network will also be tapped to quickly protect children in surrounding countries.
How can you help?
Please continue to donate. Every £1 helps and every £1 will be matched by £2 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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