Rotary marks World Polio Day 2014 (October 24) with $44.7 million in grants to fight polio in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Polio still threatens children today, robbing them of their mobility and more. There is no cure, but polio is completely preventable with a vaccine.
Thanks to vaccination campaigns that have protected millions, a disease that once paralyzed 1,000 children each day is now almost history. Rotary and its partners have brought cases down 99 percent since 1988, and saved more than 10 million people from paralysis. Polio has now been declared eliminated from India, according to The Wall Street Journal-India.
In March 2014, Al Jazeera also confirmed that the World Health Organization officially declared India polio free. There have been no new cases reported in three years.
On October, 24, World Polio Day, Rotary will be live streaming a global status update. You can join in o learn more about progress. Speakers will include Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, celebrity ambassadors, polio survivors and special guests.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT. Rotary’s Polio Eradication Ambassadors include philanthropist Bill Gates; actors Jackie Chan and Archie Panjabi; golf great Jack Nicklaus; Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu; Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan; and music stars Ziggy Marley; Angelique Kidjo, and Psy. In a series of print and video spots, each ambassador makes the “this close” gesture with thumb and forefinger to illustrate the tagline: “We are this close to ending polio.”
“The fact that so many people from so many countries and so many walks of life are taking the time to show their support for our effort to stop this disabling, incurable – but preventable—disease once and for all underscores that this is a true global cause,” says Carol Pandak, director of Rotary’s PolioPlus program, launched in 1985. “When people understand what is at stake, they want to do something about it. In many countries, the online campaign spurred volunteers to create offline events to inform the general public about polio and what it means to eradicate this disease, as well how close we are to success.”
You can support the effort by visiting the Take Action page. You can share your story, share your voice, and find out much more information.
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