Do you know anyone that has polio? Likely not since there have only been 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative more than three decades ago, polio paralyzed 1,000 children every day, including children in North Grenville. You may know seniors that had polio when they were young. Polio cases have dropped by 99.9 percent, from 350,000 cases in 1988 in 125 countries to the number mentioned earlier.
With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue 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. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million.
The Rotary Club of Kemptville and its members, in particular the Late Dr George Fisher, have been very active from the time the eradication initiative was started 30 years ago to today. Last year John and Cora Beking were in India and took part in a National Immunization Day.