End Polio Now
Rotary has near 1.2 million voices, yet we need more than a cry for help to fight polio.
Since 1988 polio cases have decreased almost 99%, from 350,000 cases to only 223 cases in 2012. However, civil unrest in recent years has led to a sudden influx of the virus.
Polio is transmitted via contaminated food and water, multiplying in the intestine and invading the nervous system. 1 in every 200 infections leads to paralysis, and can cause death in mere hours.
Fortunately, Wild Poliovirus can be easily prevented through vaccinations. Since 1985, Rotary has helped immunize over 2.5 billion children in 122 different countries. Polio is near eradicated. However, military conflicts in areas such as Sudan and Pakistan has disrupted vaccination programs, causing the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare Polio as an ‘International Public Health Emergency’.
Furthermore, civil unrest in states such as Syria, Pakistan and Libya has led to a flood of refugees, now living in dire conditions. Susceptible to flooding, freezing, dysentery and with severe lack of medical needs, these are breeding grounds for the virus. Syria, polio-free for 14 years, recently suffered an outbreak of the disease transferred from across the border in Pakistan.
Rotary has been a major advocate in polio eradication for almost 30 years, contributing over 10% of the global investment to combat it. The fact of the matter is that we can eradicate polio, potentially saving the lives of millions. We have the will, we have the means, yet we are lacking the funding.
As little as $0.60could save a life. To contribute to Rotary’s mission to END POLIO NOW, click here
For more information on polio, click here
By Tessa Compisi