Polio Plus

On the annual World Polio Day, Rotary spotlights the fight to end the disease

Rotary helped put polio eradication on center stage on the day best known for rallying support to finish the job - World Polio Day, 24 October. A special Livestream presentation - World Polio Day: Making History - showcased the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Co-hosted by Rotary and the Northwestern University Center for Global Health, the 60-minute program took place before a live audience at the John Hughes Auditorium on Northwestern's Chicago campus and streamed online to viewers worldwide.

Before the event, RI President Ron Burton, Rotary Foundation Trustee Vice Chair Michael McGovern, RI General Secretary John Hewko, and other Rotary senior leaders welcomed representatives from corporations, foundations, educational institutions and government agencies to a special reception. The representatives -- from the AbbVie Foundation, Bank of America, Grant Thornton, J.P. Morgan, Lufthansa, the MacArthur Foundation, Marriott International, Northwestern University, Consulate of Lithuania, Chicago Department of Public Health, and the City of Evanston, among others - also heard an inspiring message on the GPEI's progress from Dr. Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general for Polio, Emergencies, and Country Collaboration at the World Health Organization. A global leader in the GPEI, Rotary is playing a major role in advocating government, nongovernment, corporate, and public support for polio eradication.

For District information: Shirley Giltzow - shirley_giltzow@live.com

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has generously provided a new challenge to help meet the U.S. $1.5B funding gap in the strategic campaign to eradicate polio by 2018.  Through June 2018, the first $35 million donated via Rotary to the Polio Plus Fund each year will generate a $2 matching contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  This is a fantastic opportunity for every participant to see his or her donations quickly expand to inoculate three times as many children.
$1 donated through Rotary + $2 contributed by Gates Foundation = $3 total funding = 5 children inoculated
$35 million donated through Rotary + $70 million contributed by Gates Foundation = $105 million total funding = 175 million children inoculated
Rotary, government of Alberta, Canada, Gates Foundation boost funding

The government of Alberta, Canada, has pledged C$350,000 to Rotary's PolioPlus Program. "PolioPlus is a truly inspiring example of international partnership and dedication," said Alberta's Minister of Culture Heather Klimchuk in announcing the contribution in October.

Rotary members in Alberta will match the government's contribution for a subtotal of C$700,000. Through the End Polio Now: Make History Today fundraising campaign, that amount will be matched 2 for 1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for a total of $2.1 million for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Biking 'Miles to End Polio'
RI General Secretary John Hewko will again be joining Rotary members in the Tuscon, Arizona, area on 23 November to raise money for Rotary's PolioPlus Program by riding 111 miles in El Tour de Tucson, which attracts more than 9,000 cyclists a year. RI World Headquarters staff in Evanston, Illinois, are joining Hewko in a parallel effort -- Miles to End Polio -- to raise support through biking, walking, or other wellness activities to meet their own mileage goals
Rotary at work in response to Syria outbreak

Ten polio cases have been reported in Syria. Read a statement from Rotary's International PolioPlus Committee Chair Dr. Robert S. Scott on how Rotary members in neighboring countries are working to keep the outbreak from spreading

Fighting Polio Amid the Chaos of Syria's Civil War
by Jason Motlagh, for National Geographic
Published March 5, 2015
Courageous bands of volunteers are standing up to ISIS and the Assad regime to vaccinate their children.
Activities roundup

Rotary members in San Diego, California, USA, raised more than $2,100 by auctioning off the opportunity to attend a concert by Grammy Award-winning reggae singer Ziggy Marley, a Rotary polio eradication ambassador.

The Interact Club of Jenkins County High School raised $650 through a talent show and dinner organized by students and teachers. 

On World Polio Day, Rotarians in India arranged for the India Gate and the Red Fort in Delhi, and landmarks in Bihar, Gujarat, Hyderabad, and Mumbai to be illuminated with the End Polio Now logo.

On World Polio Day, Rotarians and Rotaractors in Bulgaria handed out End Polio Now flyers in their communities to increase awareness of polio.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland has teamed up with Ade Adepitan, polio survivor, British broadcaster, and former Paraylmpian, to urge public support for Rotary's End Polio Now campaign.

Rotary in the news

Watch a PBS report on polio eradication efforts in Pakistan, featuring health workers, religious leaders, and Rotary members, including Pakistan PolioPlus Committee Chair Aziz Memon.

Read the October cover story of The Magazine of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on Rotary's polio eradication efforts in Nigeria, quoting PolioPlus Director Carol Pandak.

Read a USA Weekend profile of Emmy Award-winning actress Archie Panjabi and her work as a Rotary polio eradication ambassador.

Read an article on polio eradication in The Washington Post that mentions Rotary's key role.