Children in Kaduna, Nigeria gather for a National Immunization Day. Photo
Credit: Ruth McDowall.
In the fight to end polio, your voice is one of the most powerful tools available. The collective voice of Rotary’s 1.2 million members and supporters around the globe are crucial to eradicating this crippling disease.
In 2012, the effort to end polio made historic progress. The year ended with the fewest wild polio cases, in the fewest places ever in history. Fewer than 250 cases were reported compared to 350,000 cases in 1985 when Rotary first started this mission. The polio vaccine is reaching children in some of the most remote regions on earth. Nearly 430 million children were vaccinated against polio last year.
For this progress to continue we must ensure that polio immunization campaigns are fully-funded. Worldwide, governments, NGOs and individuals have donated funds to support this humanitarian mission. Rotarians have played a key role in the more than US$ 9 billion contributed by governments and other stakeholders in the global polio eradication effort. Now we ask that you share your voice to urge world leaders to fund the final push to end this devastating disease. Your advocacy efforts can have an impact on the future of polio eradication.
In April, a Vaccine Summit will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to celebrate global commitment to immunization starting with polio eradication, to highlight the critical links between ending polio, strengthening routine immunization, and improving overall child health. This summit will feature an event highlighting the promise of polio eradication and encourage funding commitments from world leaders and their governments. We need your support to strengthen our existing advocacy efforts.
Each week leading up to the summit, we will be asking you to take an action to influence your government to commit to polio eradication. The first of these actions is to invite policy makers (members of parliament, ministers, development agency representatives) to a local Rotary Club meeting in the weeks leading up to the Vaccine Summit. Use this meeting as an opportunity to discuss the progress against polio, Rotary’s commitment to creating a polio-free world and encourage the policy maker to support government funding for polio eradication. Involve a polio survivor and/or National Immunization Day participant to help tell the story. Invite officials who participate in club meetings to take a “This Close” photo with club members and share via social media and/or upload it to The World’s Biggest Commercial at www.endpolionow.org.
A sample letter of invitation, talking points for the meeting and a certificate of appreciation are available for download on the resources page of www.endpolionow.org.
Email photos from your meeting with your government official to PR@Rotary.org and regularly check EndPolioNow.org for new actions that you can take in the fight to end polio.
By advocating to your government officials we can make history together and end polio now.