End Polio Now
NEARLY THERE !
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the final drive to end polio
Rotarians off to India on a mercy mission!
Two Rotarians one from the Brit Valley Club and one from the Bridport Club, are off to Karnal in the State of Haryana in Northern India to assist with the National Immunisation Day that will be taking place all over the sub-continent in February. Suzie Cockburn and Clive Bath leave Heathrow with 40 other UK Rotarians for Delhi on the 16th of February and will meet up with their Indian counterparts in Karnal which is about 76 miles North of Delhi.
For more than 25 years, Rotary International has led the private sector in the global effort to rid the world of this most awful of childhood diseases, polio. Rotary’s financial contributions to the global polio eradication effort will reach nearly £720 million by the time the world is certified polio-free. This sum has been added to by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who have supported the fund by over £340 million. This money goes to pay for vaccines, transportation costs and training and support of health workers. In addition thousands of Rotarians around the world have volunteered during National Immunization Days to immunize children. It costs just 50p to protect a child for life from this horrible disease
Polio eradication has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985. Since then, polio cases have fallen from 350,000 a year to a recorded 1,600 last year. Thanks to Rotary’s help, two billion children have been protected from the disease, and the number of endemic countries has fallen from 125 to just four; Afghanistan, northern India, Nigeria and Pakistan. The latest news is that India, which was one of the world’s most affected countries, has not had a case of Polio for the last year and there is growing hope that the fight there is drawing to an end.
The two representatives from Bridport who are, incidentally paying their own way, will be helping to man booths in the streets and slums of Karnal. Working in teams of three, one will place the inoculum drops of the child’s tongue, one will mark the the childs little finger with a purple dye, (the purple pinkie!) to show that they have been inoculated, and the third will give the child a small gift. After that the teams will be doing house to house calls all over the town in an attempt to cover every child under five.
The BBC are sending Fergus Walsh and a film crew to cover the Immunisation Day activities in India and their coverage will be shown on the 20th February both on BBC Breakfast and in the 6.00 and10 o’clock news slots. So you will have an opportunity to see what our local Rotarians get up to.
June 2011 – click on the link below to see the latest drive to eliminate polio
ROTARY launched its POLIO PLUS FUND way back in 1985 with the aim of immunising all the world’s children against polio which at the time was claiming 350,000 victims a year. When it became apparent to the world at large that ROTARY’S commitment was so great, the World Health Assembly and other bodies became involved. ROTARY alone has raised over $700 million to keep alive the dream of a polio free world.
Since 1985 more than two billion children have received the oral polio vaccine. Astoundingly the annual number of polio cases of 350,000 have been reduced to 2000.
In 2002 the fund was reactivated to raise funds needed to eliminate the remaining cases and Rotary raised a further $88 million; this was matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( Microsoft ).
Last year the fund was relaunched to rid polio from the few remaining areas. Again Rotary made a commitment of $100 million over a three year period which if achieved would again be matched by the Gates Foundation. The Gates have made a further grant of $255 million and ROTARY has increased its undertaking to $200 million which must be achieved by 2012.
Twenty Five years ago ROTARY made the commitment to eradicate polio from the World. It is now nearly polio free. With help polio will be defeated. The money donated to the polio initiative will be used to sponsor immunization days for children, extra vaccinations in high-risk areas, research into new vaccines and more surveillance to detect outbreaks before they spread.
Polio is an infectious disease carried by the poliovirus. It causes motor paralysis and atrophy of skeletal muscles, often causing permanent disability and deformity.
The disease has been completely eliminated in the Americas, the Western Pacific and Europe, but the polio virus persists in Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Imported cases from these countries threaten other developing nations.
Access to vaccines and vaccine effectiveness are the biggest problems in fighting the disease.