Update on Polio Eradication 2018
You have heard this before but we really are on the brink of eradicating polio, a disease that causes incurable paralysis.  There has only been one other disease, small pox, that has been completely stopped through vaccinations. Approximately 30 years ago, in 1988, Rotary accepted the challenge of eradicating Polio in the world with its partners World Health Organization, UNICEF, CDC (Centers for Disease Control). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has accepted the challenge as well, joining Rotary’s fight.
If all the children in the world could be given the polio vaccine this disease could be eradicated, but this appears to be a very big job, and there appears to be some very big roadblocks, such as civil wars and political unrest, which have interfered with immunization programs.   The country of India proved that this can be done. This was a country that had much poverty and overcrowding. Now it has been 6 years without a case of paralysis from polio in India.  They accomplished this by having frequent immunization days (as often as every 2 weeks) in some of the difficult areas of the country, which resulted in at least 90% of the children being immunized against polio.
  • In 2016, there were 37 cases of paralyzing polio in the world
  • In 2017, there were only 20 cases!
  • But!  For each case of paralysis there are 199 other children who are infected without significant symptoms who could spread polio to an unimmunized playmate.
That’s why we can’t stop immunizing now, even though we’ve made so much progress and, as you’ve heard Bill Gates say, “We’re this close” to eradicating Polio.
Keep up the good work! Your contributions have done so much already. We can’t stop now. Remember, the Bill Gates Foundation will match your contribution 2:1.
For more information about Rotary’s fight against Polio, go to:
 
District Governor Gary Norris and Julie

District Governor Michael T. Mills and Leonor

 
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District Grant Applications
All District Grant applications are due September 29.
 
April 2018
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