End Polio Now

Since 1985, Rotary’s key humanitarian priority had been to rid the world of polio

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Inspired by Rotary's volunteer commitment and fundraising success, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988.

This is a public-private partnership led by national governments with five core partners: Rotary International, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UC Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. The strategy to eradicate polio is based on preventing infection by immunising every child until transmission of the disease stops and the world is polio-free.

Over the past 30 years, Rotary has donated US$1.8 billion to the eradication effort which has protected over 2.5 billion children through vaccination programmes.

As a result of this work we have seen a world-wide reduction in polio cases of 99.9% since 1988.

For more than 2 years we've seen wild polio cases in only 2 countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  But despite their being only a handful of cases, continued campaigning, health worker training and vaccination programmes are essential to stop the disease returning. Failure to completely eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases worldwide every year with in a decade.

Rotary members are proud to continue their part in making history.