Rotary celebrates World Polio Day

Smallpox is the only human disease ever eradicated. Let’s make polio the second! Join the fight to end polio with Rotary on World Polio Day


Polio is a paralysing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. Poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in hours. It can strike people of any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio can be prevented by vaccines, but it is not curable. Unlike most diseases, polio can be eradicated.

For more than 30 years, Rotary and our partners have driven the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. Our PolioPlus program was the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication by vaccinating children on a massive scale. As a core partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Rotary focuses on advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and awareness-building.  Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from this paralysing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort. 

When Rotary and its partners formed the GPEI in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Because of the efforts of Rotary and its partners, nearly 19 million people who would otherwise have been paralysed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would otherwise have died. The infrastructure we helped build to end polio is also being used to treat and prevent other diseases (including COVID-19) and create lasting impact in other areas of public health. 

Rotary has contributed to Africa being declared wild polio-free

Rotary and our partners have made tremendous progress against polio, but eliminating all cases is going to take even more progress and perseverance. Afghanistan and Pakistan face unique challenges, including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, difficult terrain, and, in some instances, vaccine refusal and misinformation. With sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments, and innovations that improve access to remote areas, we are optimistic that we can eliminate polio. 

Rotary has committed to raising $50 million per year for polio eradication. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total commitment of $150 million each year. These funds provide much-needed operational support, medical workers, laboratory equipment, and educational materials. Governments, corporations, and private donors all play a crucial role in funding.  More than 1 million Rotary members have donated their time and money to eradicate polio, and every year, hundreds of members work with health workers to vaccinate children in countries affected by polio. 

Rotary has a growing list of public figures and celebrities who support our fight against polio, including Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; actresses Kristen Bell and Archie Panjabi; actor and wrestling superstar John Cena; supermodel Isabeli Fontana; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; action-movie star Jackie Chan; actor Donald Sutherland; boxing great Manny Pacquiao; pop star Psy; golf legend Jack Nicklaus; conservationist Jane Goodall; premier violinist Itzhak Perlman; Grammy Award winners A.R. Rahman, Angélique Kidjo, and Ziggy Marley; and peace advocate Queen Noor of Jordan.

In Great Britain and Ireland, we’re proud to have had support from Broadcaster, Paralympian and polio survivor, Ade Adepitan; Author, television presenter and polio survivor, Julia Roberts; Producer of Breathe, Jonathan Cavendish; Broadcaster, Konnie Huq; Paralympian and polio survivor, Anne Wafula Strike.

These ambassadors help Rotary educate the public about the disease and the fight to end polio for good.

'What We Do' Main Pages:

He's taking part in the Youth Adventure Trust's Virtual Resilience Challenge from 13th to 21st February 2021

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Smallpox is the only human disease ever eradicated. Let’s make polio the second! Join the fight to end polio with Rotary on World Polio Day

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We have played a role in a significant global public health achievement as the World Health Organization’s Africa region has officially been certified wild polio-free.

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From around the world Rotarians have responded to calls for help.

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£1,250 has been sent to both ​Prospect Hospice and Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service to help bridge the funding gap both charities are currently experiencing.

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Coronavirus is a deadly risk for vulnerable families who have lost their homes. Read more...….

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THE 2020 SWIMATHON & CASH PRIZE DRAW WERE CANCELLED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, BUT...….

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"In musical entertainment Swindon punches way above its weight. Some of the youngsters we've heard tonight will go on to make a name for themselves"

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Kathy Hobson, Highworth based accountant and long-time member of the Kentwood Choir, is our new President

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To thank Rotary for raising a third of a million pounds towards the £2.9m appeal for a radiotherapy centre in Swindon Brighter Futures puts on a party [Picture:Swindon Advertiser]

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OUR BEST EVER! £5,773 RAISED ....Details here

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A new design for a new name

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Congratulations to the teams from St Joseph’s Catholic College Swindon. The intermediate team (in the picture) was commended and placed joint second by the judges

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Giving money and support to the people in Swindon & district who need it most

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We went to the races in March. It was a meeting with 10 races, 8 riders in each. It wasn’t at Epsom, or Haydock Park, or just up the M4 at Newbury. It was, of all places, in Wanborough Village Hall.

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First place team P.G.Events with the David Maggs Memorial Trophy

The winning team P.G.Events presented with the David Maggs Memorial Trophy to hold for one year by Swindon North Rotary President Mike Helyer

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Donation sent from the Club's Emergency Disaster Fund to World Water Works

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The Rotary Club hands over £1100 to the Youth Adventure Trust

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A charity quiz organised by Swindon North Rotary Club and the Inner Wheel Club of North Wiltshire brings forth £2,000 for TWIGS Community Gardens in Cheney Manor

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A brief summary of our Rotary year ending 30/06/2020

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Attendees found plenty at the 2018 Rotary Convention to remind them of the fellowship that binds them and the diversity that Rotary embodies

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Torquay’s Riviera Centre was the venue for the Rotary in Britain and Ireland (RIBI) Annual Conference on 6th April 2018

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Rotarian Terry Williams on his Christmas Tree Plantation

Rotarian Terry Williams has been selling his locally grown Christmas trees again and all the proceeds are going to be divided between two charities

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The new Horizons College Minibus, donated collectively by all the Rotary Clubs of Swindon and District, has been branded with the Rotary logo and other graphics by the Wootton Bassett based company, PG Events, free of charge.

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Rotarian Terry's Christmas Trees enable the Rotary Club to present £1,225 to the Friends of Angel's Orphanage

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The Rotary Club of North Wiltshire (the name was changed to the Rotary Club of Swindon North in 2008) received its charter from Rotary International on 28th September 1966

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Raising funds for the Brighter Futures Appeal

A static 100-mile cycle ride from Highworth to Windsor Castle

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Our stall at Highworth Market on 2nd May 2015

Many thanks to everyone who visited our stall at Highworth Market on 2nd May

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The Community & Vocational Service Committee is tasked with organising fund-raising events and functions.

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Rotarian Terry Williams' remarkable and unique fund raising effort, living in a ShelterBox emergency tent for a week in the Market Place, Highworth

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The Club Service Committee manages the administration of the Rotary Club.

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International, Foundation & Youth Activities Service Committee

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Club Council

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Exceeding expectations, President Lynn's challenge to 3 club members to Zumba in the Co-op Foodstore raised £700 for Swindon Young Carers.

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The Rotary Club of Swindon North charity concert featuring the Swindon Male Voice Choir in St Michael's Church, Highworth.

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A Charity Dog Racing event with dinner held at Blunsdon Abbey Stadium on 14th March 2015 in aid of the NSPCC

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We've Zumda'd in the Highworth Co-op, now we've ridden our bikes in there

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