US Rotary Club members to immunize children against
polio in India
is an organization of business and professional leaders
united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service,
and help to build goodwill and peace in the world.
US Rotary club members to immunize children against
polio in India Part of Global Effort to Eradicate Polio
Worldwide by 2005 (EVANSTON, Illinois, USA - 4 February
group of 60 Rotary club members from the Midwest region
of the United States will travel to India to assist
local Rotary members in vaccinating every child under
the age of five against polio in the Mumbai (Bombay)
by the tragic events of 11 September and the ongoing
conflict between India and Pakistan, the group, which
will include individuals ranging from age 8 to 80, will
depart for India on 9 February and return 25 February.
Leading the group is Dowagiac, Michigan, resident David
Groner. "We are proud to be part of this historic
effort to rid the world of a crippling disease that
has impacted millions of lives throughout the centuries,"
said Groner. "Regardless of current world challenges,
we must remain diligent in our efforts to ensure that
every child is protected against this tragic and preventable
in India, the volunteers will administer drops of oral
polio vaccine to children, assist parents in getting
their children vaccinated, transport health workers,
deliver the vaccine to health clinics and recruit fellow
volunteers during India's Sub National Immunization
recognizing these extraordinary volunteer efforts, Richard
King, president of Rotary International, and Luis Giay,
chairman of The Rotary Foundation, will also travel
to India to publicly launch the SNID and meet with world
health leaders at Rotary's PolioPlus Summit to discuss
the progress and next steps in overcoming the remaining
challenges to eradicating polio in India and worldwide.
"This volunteer spirit is what enables Rotary to
move toward its goal of polio eradication," said
to the dedication of Rotary volunteers worldwide, there
will soon be one less threat against the children of
there is no cure for polio, a highly infectious disease
that mainly affects children under the age of three,
the best treatment is prevention. A child can be protected
against polio for as little as US$0.50 worth of vaccine.
launching its PolioPlus program in 1985, eradicating
polio has become Rotary's main philanthropic goal. Since
then, Rotary has contributed US$42 million to polio
eradication efforts in India and US$462 million worldwide.
raising funds, over one million men and women of Rotary
have donated their time and personal resources to help
immunize nearly two billion children in 122 countries.
As respected leaders in their communities, Rotary members
play a key role in winning people's confidence in the
program. Last year, over 100,000 Rotary club members
volunteered during the national immunization days in
India, some traveling from as far as the United States
and Japan. Just recently, Rotary clubs of Pakistan helped
immunize over 30 million children, including those living
in Afghan refugee camps.
efforts have yielded significant results. In India,
265 cases of polio were recorded in 2000, compared to
2,817 cases in 1999. India's 68,017 Rotary club members
can take credit for much of this success as they have
volunteered during NIDs for more than a decade.
eradication worldwide is extremely close to completion.
In 2000, there were 2880 cases of polio reported in
20 countries, a 99 percent decrease from the 350,000
cases estimated in 1988 in 125 countries. Today, the
poliovirus circulates in just 10 countries, mainly in
South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The Americas were
declared free from polio in 1994, as well as the Western
Pacific region in 2000. Europe will be the next block
of countries to be declared polio-free toward the end
of this year. Once eradicated, polio will be the second
disease after smallpox ever to be eliminated.
this extraordinary success, the final phase of the effort
is the most challenging. Closing a US$400 million funding
gap, accessing children in countries in conflict, and
maintaining political commitment in the face of a disappearing
disease must be achieved before the world can be declared
polio-free in 2005.
help meet the funding challenge, The Rotary Foundation
of Rotary International and the United Nations Foundation
are collaborating to secure funds from private sector
corporations, philanthropists and foundations.
addition, Rotary reaches out to governments worldwide
to obtain vital financial and technical support. Through
this skillful advocacy work, Rotary members have helped
deliver more than US$ 1 billion of funding to the program
from donor governments. That amount, combined with direct
funds from Rotary, is more than half the money needed
for the entire global polio eradication program.
a major donor nation in this effort, the United States
has contributed US$682.5 million to the global polio
eradication effort since 1995. Other countries such
as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland,
Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands,
Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the
United Kingdom are also major financial donors to this
historic health initiative.
1985, Rotary International served as the catalyst for
the Global Polio Eradication Initiative by setting the
goal to immunize all the world's children against the
disease by Rotary's 100th anniversary in 2005.
Global Polio Eradication Initiative is spearheaded by
the World Health Organization, Rotary International,
the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
is an organization of business and professional leaders
united worldwide who provide humanitarian service and
help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There
are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members
of more than 30,000 Rotary clubs in 162 countries.
more information, contact Vivian Fiore <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>