World Polio Day
World Polio Day: Rotary Club of Oakville (RCO) fights to end polio worldwide
 
OAKVILLE, ONTARIO October 24, 2018 — In honor of World Polio Day, which is widely recognized on 24 October, the RCO is bringing awareness to the community as part of Rotary’s 27-year mission to eradicate the crippling childhood disease polio.
 
World Polio Day follows a succession of significant developments that have made 2018 one of the most important years in the history of the polio eradication initiative.
 
The message to world leaders is clear: support the final push to achieve eradication now while the goal has never been closer, or face the potential consequences of a new polio pandemic that could disable millions of children within a decade.
 
Since 1985, Rotary has contributed over $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries.    The disease remains endemic in three countries -- Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan -- although other countries remain at risk for imported cases.
 
On this day, representatives from all the rotary clubs in Oakville, and friends of the rotary joined together with Mayor Rob Burton and the recently elected members of council to commemorate this event.
 
Rotary Club of Oakville (RCO) President George Vincent commented, “We are grateful for our partners and supporters who join us in the ongoing battle to eradicate this dreadful disease for good. We look forward to the day, very soon, when our partners and supporters will join us in celebrating the last case of Polio on Earth. We can do it. We are this close! “
 
In 1988 there were over 350 000 cases of Polio worldwide. In 2017 there were less than 15 thanks to the efforts of many.
 
Len Warrington, past President of RCO states that “right from the beginning, our club members have participated in this Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) by contributing our dollars and our volunteer time, not only to raise funds, but also to have several of our members participate first hand in administering the polio vaccine to thousands of children in different parts of the world.”
 
A highly infectious disease, polio causes paralysis and is sometimes fatal.  As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. For as little as US 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.  After an international investment of more than US$9 billion, and the successful engagement of over 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, polio could be the first human disease of the 21st century to be eradicated.
 
GPEI is spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  It includes the support of governments and other private sector donors.
 
 
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