Rotary International begins its fight against polio with a
multi-year project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines.
Rotary International launches PolioPlus, the first and largest
internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health
initiative, with an initial fundraising target of US$120 million.
Rotary International and the World Health Organization
launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. There are an estimated 350,000
cases of polio in 125 countries.
The International Commission for the Certification of
Poliomyelitis Eradication announces that polio has been eliminated from the
Health workers and volunteers immunize 165 million children
in China and India in 1 week. Rotary launches the PolioPlus Partners program,
enabling Rotary members in polio-free countries to provide support to fellow
members in polio-affected countries for polio eradication activities.
A record 550 million children – almost 10% of the world's
population – receive the oral polio vaccine. The Western Pacific region,
spanning from Australia to China, is declared polio-free.
The Rotary Foundation raises $119 million in a 12-month
campaign. Rotary's total contribution to polio eradication exceeds $500
million. Six countries remain polio-endemic – Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Niger,
Africa, synchronized National Immunization Days in 23 countries target 80
million children, the largest coordinated polio immunization effort on the
In Africa, synchronized National Immunization Days in 23
countries target 80 million children, the largest coordinated polio
immunization effort on the continent.
The number of polio-endemic countries drops to 4 -
Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Pakistan.
Rotary's overall contribution to the eradication effort
nears $800 million. In January, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges
$355 million and issues Rotary a challenge grant of $200 million. This
announcement will result in a combined $555 million in support of the Global
Polio Eradication Initiative.
Rotary welcomes celebrities and other major public figures
into a new public awareness campaign and ambassador program called "This
Close" to ending polio. Program ambassadors include Nobel Peace Prize
Laureate Desmond Tutu, violinist Itzhak Perlman, co-founder of the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, Grammy Award-winning singers Angelique
Kidjo and Ziggy Marley, and environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall. Rotary's funding
for polio eradication exceeds $1 billion.
India surpasses 1 year without a recorded case of polio and
is removed from the list of countries where polio is endemic. Polio remains
endemic in just 3 countries. Rotary surpasses its $200 Million Challenge
fundraising goal more than 5 months earlier than expected.
India goes 3 full years without a new case caused by the
wild poliovirus, and the World Health Organization certifies the South-East
Asia region polio-free. Polio cases are down over 99% since 1988.