Rotary gives $49.5 million to help eradicate polio and challenges the world to continue the fight to end the disease
With just 11 confirmed polio cases so far in 2017, the world is on the brink of eradicating polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.
To recognize this historic progress, Rotary clubs worldwide will host events in conjunction with Rotary International’s fifth annual World Polio Day celebration on Oct. 24.
This year, the event will be co-hosted by Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and held at the foundation’s headquarters in Seattle. The program will feature an update on the global fight to end polio and an array of guest speakers, celebrities, and public health experts. People around the world can view the livestream of the event at endpolio.org/worldpolioday on Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time.
“Rotary and its partners are closer than ever to eradicating polio,” says Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, which leads the organization’s polio eradication efforts. “World Polio Day is the ideal opportunity to celebrate our successes, raise public awareness, and talk about what is needed to end this paralyzing disease for good.”
Without full funding and political commitment to eradication, the disease could return to countries that are now polio-free and put children everywhere at risk.
Rotary is giving $49.5 million in grants to support immunization and surveillance activities led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.