Palisades Rotary Club President Sanda Alcalay (2009-2010)

was so impressed with Rotary's commitment to Polio eradication and the importance of the current last push effort "End Polio Now" campaign that she decided share her passion with others. She is pictured here presenting an End Polio Now cap to Chris Bauman, who was presiding over the Malibu Rotary Club meeting for Holmes Osborne

 


As most of us knew, Rotary's commitment to polio eradiction started in the 1970's, when it was a major world problem, with millions of new cases each year.  Now it has almost been wiped out, with only 642 cases reported in the world last year.  Those cases were in 4 countries: Pakistan, parts of northern India, Nigeria and Afghanistan.  In some of these areas leaders in the countries did not allow Rotary volunteers and the polio immunizations to take place for a variety of reasons, including the thought that immunization was a "Western conspiracy."
Now a combination of people and organizations are involved to finally rid the world of this disease. Besides Rotary International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and various heads of state, including President Obama and the heads of state of the 4 countries involved with the immunization effort. In addition, while there are 3 strains of polio virus there is now one vaccine that protects against the 2 most common strains.
Sanda passed out a brochure about Rotary's $200 Million Challage (2008-12), and much of the most recent information can be found on the Rotary International website at
www.rotary.org/endpolio .