Rotarians in southern Wales and across the world celebrated two significant milestones in the eradication of Polio during 2020.
From Rotary International came the news that Africa had been declared free of wild Polio. Now there are just two countries Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Polio has still to be eradicated.
Rotarians in Southern Wales also celebrated raising more than $1million towards the significant goal of eradicating Polio worldwide.
Although we have achieved these two significant milestones, our members will continue to dedicate themselves to ensure we achieve our promise to the children of the world and eradicate this dreadful disease.
Individual Rotarians across the District have played a hands-on role over the years – joining Rotarian volunteers across the world to administer the vaccine on National Immunisation Days in India.
Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) over 30 years ago, the incidence of Polio has plummeted from approximately 350,000 cases a year in 125 countries to 5 cases in just two countries up to end December 2021.
To sustain this progress, around 2 billion doses of the vaccine will continue to be administered to more than 400 million children in up to 60 countries every single year.
This is in addition to the routine immunisations that happen elsewhere around the world, including the UK and Ireland. Without full funding, political commitment and volunteer-led social action, there is a real threat that Polio could return, putting children worldwide at risk.
The Gates Foundation matches money raised by Rotarians towards ending Polio. Bill Gates says,
“The Gates Foundation’s longstanding partnership with Rotary has been vital to fighting Polio. That is why we are extending our funding match, so every dollar that Rotary raises is met with two more. I believe that together, we can make eradication a reality.”
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