What impact can one donation have?
- For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected from polio.
- $50 can provide clean water to help fight waterborne illness.
- $500 can launch an antibullying campaign and create a safe environment for children.
Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years.
Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever.
As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we’ve reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
We’ve helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. So far, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating the disease worldwide.
Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.
Since 1988, we’ve seen a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%. For more than two years, we’ve seen wild polio cases in only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Bill Gates on the ‘Iron Will’ of the End Polio initiative of Rotary International
I can’t think of a more important moment than right now in the fight against polio. And that’s a good thing because it shows how much progress the world has made against polio, a terrible and now largely forgotten disease. This metal tank is an iron lung, a mechanical respirator that saved the lives of thousands of polio victims. Polio attacks the body’s nervous system, crippling patients. In the worst cases, the disease paralyzes their respiratory muscles and makes it difficult for them to breathe, sometimes resulting in death. Using changes in air pressure, the iron lung pulls air in and out of a patient’s lungs, allowing them to breathe and stay alive. During the height of the polio epidemic in the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s, rows of iron lungs filled hospital wards to treat thousands of polio patients, most of them children. Please watch this video to learn more about Rotary International’s initiative to end polio.