Rotary Club celebrates efforts to end Polio

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Oct. 24 is World Polio Day and the Culver City Rotary Club is proud to be part of the impetus for the eradication of polio in the world for almost 30 years. With the recent outbreak of Ebola, it is important to acknowledge, and remember that people can, and do, come together to help fight deadly diseases worldwide.

The Culver City Rotary Foundation, the volunteer fundraising arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative—a public/ private partnership which also includes the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Rotary’s Foundation’s donation was tripled thanks to a 2-1 match by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!

Contributions come at an important time in the fight to eradicate polio, which will be the second human disease, after the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, to be eradicated. Only three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) have not yet stopped the transmission of the poliovirus.

Since the Rotary program began in 1988, the number of polio cases has been reduced 99 percent from 350,000 a year to about 400 in 2013.

Rotary International, a humanitarian organization with nearly 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, made polio eradication its top priority in 1985, with Rotary contributing $1.3 billion in US dollars. Its members have logged countless volunteer hours to help immunize two billion children in 122 countries. Culver City’s Rotary Club and Foundation has played a pivotal role from the beginning.

Many local members have traveled and volunteered in many countries. Rotary expressed its pride in Culver City Rotarians for playing such an important role. Rotary International’s involvement began as far back as 1979 with a successful pilot program to immunize children in the Philippines.

Rotarians and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are asking everyone to raise awareness that we are ‘this close’ to ending polio in the world. Everyone is asked to encourage their government to support Rotary and its partners’ efforts for polio eradication. In addition, see your donation tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Lastly, people are asked to support the fight to end polio by visiting www.endpolionow.org to learn more and contribute.

Rotary Club celebrates efforts to end Polio