Rotary members Nick Zaseybida and Bob Van Balkom were among the members of the Summerland Rotary Club holding signs for the Rotary’s polio campaign.

Rotary Club promotes polio initiative

On Oct. 24, members of the Summerland Rotary Club held signs to promote their polio campaign.

On Oct. 24, members of the Summerland Rotary Club held signs to promote their polio campaign.

The campaign is an ongoing Rotary initiative.

In 1985, Rotary International launched its Polio Plus program.

Polio is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects children under the age of five. It can cause paralysis within hours. However, every child can be immunized with an effective oral vaccination for only 60 cents.

In 1988, realizing the effect of this disease, Rotary spearheaded the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Rotary International works with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the governments of the affected countries.

Since 1985, more than two billion children have received the oral vaccine. Since that time, the reported cases of polio dropped dramatically.

In 1988, there were 350,000 cases in 125 countries. In September, 2010, there were 717 cases in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Rotary International has contributed nearly $800 million to its polio campaign.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Rotary a $350 million grant for its work.

Members also earned another $200 million by the end of June, 2012.

This September, Rotary International, the Canadian Federal Government and the Bill Gates Foundation agreed to supply another $1 million each.

Since 1988, Rotary International has supplied more than $1.2 billion.

More than 2.5 billion children have received the oral vaccination. India has been free of polio for 20 months.

 

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