Why We Should Care About World Polio Day
It's World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio – a vaccine preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.
Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has been dramatically reduced; from 350,000 cases a year to just 37 cases in 2016. To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million per year over the next three years in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1.
As awesome as that progress is, there's still the possibility the paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. So it's really important to get down to zero cases.
Health experts and celebrity ambassadors are going to update everyone on where we're at in the fight against Polio. You can watch it live at 5:30 pm here.
Since I became a member of Rotary 11 years ago, I've learned a lot about the illness. I'm aware that it used to be extremely prevalent in the USA in my parents' generation, so much so that my mother mentioned it in her memory book. Kids were told to keep away from crowds. Pools and movie theatres closed. Can you imagine?
I encourage you and your children to tune in from your computer, tablet, or smartphone this evening at 5:30 pm. Just go to www.EndPolio.org.