End Polio Now Campaign
For over 30 years, Rotary’s own charity, Rotary Foundation, has spearheaded the global campaign to eradicate polio. In that time; the number of countries in which polio is endemic has fallen from 125 to 2; Afghanistan and Pakistan.
On 25 August 2020, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Africa Region, comprising 47 countries, was certified as free from wild poliovirus. This means that five of the six WHO regions, representing 90% of the world's population, are now certified wild polio free.
Despite this amazing success, to achieve our goal of a world that is certified as polio free, 2 billion doses of vaccine still need to be administered every year in over 60 countries. Our critical vaccination programme continues despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Every £1 raised by Rotary Foundation to “End Polio Now” is matched and doubled to £3 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The cost of vaccinating a child is just 50p, so every £1 raised by Rotary vaccinates 6 children against this awful and unnecessary disease.
World Polio Day is marked each year on 24 October. UK "Purple4Polio" fundraising efforts include the sale of purple crocus bulbs which have been planted by members in multiple locations around Keswick.