Rotary members in Pakistan review immunization routes and prepare the polio vaccine for an immunization day.
Since 1988, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have helped immunize more than 2 billion children in 122 countries against polio. When we first began the fight to end this crippling disease there were over 350,000 cases annually. This number has been reduced by 99 percent and we are now closer than ever to creating a polio-free world.
As the volunteer arm of the initiative, Rotary’s biggest impact has been fundraising, advocacy, and community engagement for the fight to end polio. These skills are now being used to support a new strategic plan to finish the fight against polio which is being presented at the Global Vaccine Summit
in Abu Dhabi on April 24-25. The plan is a roadmap that if fully funded, would lead to a polio-free world by 2018.
Last year, the world saw the fewer polio cases in fewer countries than ever before - we are “This Close”
to ending this devastating disease.
Rotary members have been advocating for government support of the polio eradication program through meetings with world leaders and public awareness events that are already delivering financial commitments.
- Rotary members worked with Julian Fantino, Canadian Minister of International Co-operation, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to secure a matching agreement for their nationwide fundraising campaign. Rotary members raised more than C$2.2 million which was matched dollar for dollar by CIDA and the Gates Foundation for a total of C$6.8 million for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
- Rotary members have held meetings with key members of the Canadian Parliament to increase funding for polio eradication. This ongoing partnership resulted in numerous statements of support.
- Rotary members in the UK delivered letters urging government support to the home of Prime Minister Cameron and illuminated the House of Parliament and the Tower of London with the End Polio Now message.
- Advocacy efforts by Rotary members led to the introduction of an Early Day Motion (resolution) to the House of Commons urging broad support for the United Kingdom’s leadership role in the in polio eradication initiative.
- Throughout Europe, Rotary members held awareness events which included illuminating iconic landmarks in Italy and Spain and public events in Germany.
In polio-endemic countries, Rotary members are improving surveillance systems, increasing vaccination coverage and advocating for immunization campaigns. Pakistan
- Rotary installed mobile clinics at toll plazas to reach migrant populations with the oral polio vaccine. On average, 1,000 – 8,000 children now receive the vaccine on a daily basis.
- Rotary members organized a workshop for nearly 50 local community leaders, tribal elders and social activists who offered their perspectives on polio immunizations. These community leaders are now polio eradication advocates.
- Rotary members from the polio-free southern region of the country are helping to monitor immunization campaign in the polio-affected northern region.
- Rotary formed a state level committee of Muslim Ulemas and scholars to help address misconceptions about the program within some minority communities.
There are many ways to support the cause, including donating funds
and joining the World’s Biggest Commercial
. For a little as US$60 cents, a child can be protected against polio for life.
Let’s make history together and create a polio-free world.