'About 25,000 people were paralysed in and around New York, and 6,000 of those died.'
Who could guess that the above was referring to polio? That was a hundred years ago, in 1916. Since then, sanitation has improved, bringing poliovirus transmission down. The major breakthrough that brought hope of eradication of this crippling disease, however, were vaccines by Salk and Sabin in the 1950's and 60's.
In 1979, RI President Sir Clem Renouf and District 7620 Governor Dr John Sever pushed for a partnership by Rotary with governments around the world to eradicate a disease from the face of the earth. This was because polio is a serious disease with a potential to be completely eradicated. It was significant AND achievable.
Before launching an ambitious program in 1985 to protect all the world's children against the crippling disease of polio, Rotary's leadership deliberated at length over the initiative's name. "Polio" was chosen to signal Rotary's quest for a polio-free world, and "plus" was added to express Rotary's conviction that a focused attack on polio would also spur a dramatic increase in immunizations against the five other childhood vaccine-preventable diseases targeted by WHO's Expanded Programme on Immunization: measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus.
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
In 1988, Global Polio Eradication Initiative was formed, being a partnership between national governments, WHO, Rotary, the US CDC and UNICEF.
What is being done?
Polio Eradication and End-Game Stretegic Plan (PEESP) 2013-2019, Top 5 costs:
- Supplement vaccination work in a number of countries
- Cost of Vaccines
- Surveillance, including establishing and running labs
- Switch from Oral polio vaccine to inactivated polio vaccine
- Communications, Engagement & Social mobilization
From 350,000 polio cases a year in 1988, polio is almost eradicated with only 26 cases of polio so far in 2016 (3 in Nigeria, 9 in Afghanistan and 14 in Pakistan).
Challenges include attacks on vaccination workers and police protecting them, killing 89 workers and police personnel since 2012 in Pakistan.
Latest update reported in Australian media:
Listen to the radio program:
A new challenge has also emerged in Nigeria where 3 new cases of polio have been diagnosed in Borno State, Nigeria.
1. Give to TRF's PolioPlus:
Last year, the total contribution to PolioPlus from District 3300 was USD 30,026, which is close to USD 20 per capita. This year, one of the Presidential Citation goals for TRF is giving USD2650 to PolioPlus.
2. If your club is having any EndPolioNow program, fund-raising or public image program, please keep us updated. Let us help in any way we can.
3. Keep updated with #EndPolioNow at http://www.endpolio.org/
4. World Polio Day is on 24th October, i.e. in 2 months' time. Learn how you can promote Rotary's signature program here:
Resources for #EndPolioNow projects, web/social media and print publications are available at http://www.endpolio.org/worldpolioday/#resources
5. If you have contributed to PolioPlus, send PP Dr Bernard Chan of RC Bandar Sungai Petani , a photo of you in the "This Close" pose. Send an original resolution photo of at least 2MB, via email, please. PP Dr Bernard will then endeavour to create a "This Close" photo of you. Please feel free to call PP Dr Bernard Chan at +6016-4441677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some fundraising and public image programs organised for polio:
World's Greatest Meal to raise funds for polio eradication.
On behalf of the District 3300 Rotary Foundation Commitee;
Kirenjit Kaur (Chairman) - Polio &
Dr Bernard Chan (Deputy Chairman) - Polio