Bermuda has a surprisingly strong link with the early Polio Plus program
When the Polio Plus program started back in 1985 to eradicate Polio, Rotary International committed to raise USD 120 million. They actually asked Bermudian (although originally an UK lawyer)Walter Maddocks to head this up. Mr. Maddocks was a Rotarian and a past District Governor (7230) and headed up the program until the first million was raised. To date the Rotary International financial contribution to the Polio Plus program amounts to USD 1.2 billion! The Rotary Leadership inspired the World Health Assembly to pass a resolution to eradicate Polio, which paved the way for the formation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. When this initiative started, wild polio virus was endemic in more than 125 countries on five continents, paralyzing more than 1,000 children every day. By the end of 2006 only four countries remained which had never interrupted endemic transmission of wild polio virus (Nigeria, India, Pakistand and Afghanistan). In 2006, fewer than 2,000 cases were reported world wide.