Pleasanton North Rotary will join Rotary District 5170 in San Jose and Rotary International on World Polio Day, Oct. 24, 2020, to raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 350,000 cases of polio myelitis, a debilitating and sometime fatal disease, were reported annually in 125 countries in 1985 when Rotary International (RI) dedicated itself to its eradication.
Since then, Rotary has contributed more than $2.1 billion to ending polio through its global vaccination campaign. In the U.S. alone, Rotary clubs have raised $50 million annually for global polio eradication in recent years. District 5170 raised $1.5 million over the past 4 years for RI’s Polio Plus campaign. In addition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides $150 million annually to the effort, including a 2-for-1 matching funds for Rotary contributions.
“Our district has been very proactive in raising funds and we are proud of the progress we have made over the years in support of eradicating Polio around the world,” said Orrin Mahoney, Rotary District 5170 Foundation Chair.
RI PolioPlus and related initiatives are now at the brink of final victory over polio. The WHO certified in August that wild-type polio had been eradicated in Africa, leaving on Afghanistan and Pakistan as the only countries were wild-type polio persists.
With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners are committed to sustaining this progress to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.
About Rotary District 5170
Rotary District 5170, 61 clubs with 4,000 members is part of the Rotary International global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary International connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio- free world. For more information, visit Rotary District 5170 at www.rotarydistrict5170.org.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe. For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to improve lives through service. From promoting literacy and peace to providing clean water and improving health care, Rotary members are always working to better the world.
Visit endpolio.org to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio.
Photo: Rotary clubs in Kenya (shown here) and in France hosted walks and cycling event on World Polio Day to raise funds and awareness for polio eradication efforts.