Posted by Al Anile
Guest Speaker Kris Tsau.
 
Kris Tsau from Rotary’s PolioPlus program shared an update on global polio eradication efforts. She reported that, thanks in large part to the support of Rotary clubs, cases of polio have decreased by more than 99.9% globally. Polio is now only endemic (naturally occurring virus) in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where a total of 20 cases have been reported so far in 2018. Nigeria is also still considered to be endemic,
 
though there have been no cases in that country since 2016 inspiring hope that it, and the entire continent of Africa, may soon be polio free. Thanks to the work of Rotary and partners, more than 17 million children are walking who might otherwise have been paralyzed by polio. She noted that while the number of polio cases is at historically low levels, we can’t become complacent. We must continue to immunize children in the US and around the world to protect against a resurgence of polio.
 
While the focus of the global effort is on stopping polio in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative continues to immunize more than 400 million children in some 60 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, which remain at risk for outbreaks. She noted that the progress and continuing challenges will be highlighted on World Polio Day, October 24th, in a livestream event held by Rotary which can be viewed on that day or any time after at https://www.endpolio.org/world-polio-day .