PolioPlus is Rotary’s priority program which supports global efforts to eradicate polio. It was launched in 1985, with the help of Dr. Albert Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine, as a worldwide program to protect children from the cruel and fatal consequences of polio. In 1988, the World Health Assembly challenged the world to eradicate polio, and since that time, Rotary’s efforts, along with partner agencies, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and governments around the world have achieved a 99 percent reduction in the number of polio cases worldwide. By the time the world is certified polio-free, our contributions will make Rotary the largest non-governmental financial contributor to the global polio eradication effort.
Because of Rotarian support, more than four million children who might have been polio victims are walking and playing normally. Since 1985, through Rotary’s efforts, and those of its partners around the world, more than two billion children have received polio vaccines and have been protected. There are currently three countries that are endemic: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We must not stop our efforts until we give the children a Polio Free world!
Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced an extension of their existing fundraising partnership that could generate up to US$525 million in new money for polio eradication as the global effort to end this crippling disease enters its critical endgame phase.
Under the new agreement, announced before an audience of more than 20,000 Rotary members from 160 countries gathered in Lisbon for the humanitarian group’s annual convention, the Gates Foundation will match 2 for 1 every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication up to $35 million per year through 2018!We Are “This Close” To Ending Polio