Since the PolioPlus program's inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received oral polio vaccine. After 20 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease, but a strong push is needed now to root it out once and for all. It is a window of opportunity of historic proportions. As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high. "If we all have the fortitude to see this effort through to the end, then we will eradicate polio." - Bill Gates
A recent story in TIME magazine (January 2013) talks about the fight to eradicate polio.
NPR Reports on Polio Eradication
(October 19, 2012) National Public Radio aired a five-part series, Chasing Down Polio, about the ongoing effort to eradicate polio. Story links are below.
Older recent NPR stories about the disease and the long process toward its eradication:
We are this close ...
Visit Rotary's This Close web site. Read about the matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to finish the job of eradicating polio. You don't have to be a Rotarian to care...or to help. Click on the End Polio Now logo below or text "polio" to 90999 to make a gift.
Rotary commits additional $75 million to help end polio
(September 28, 2012) Rotary International has made a new funding commitment of $75 million over three years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Rotary, which has already contributed nearly $1.2 billion to the GPEI, announced the commitment at a 27 September high-level side event on polio eradication, convened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Polio eradication shifts into emergency mode
(May 25, 2012)--The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, of which Rotary is a spearheading partner, has launched an emergency action plan because of the threat of continued transmission of polio due to funding and immunization gaps. Cases have dropped dramatically, but the plan is needed to avoid a resurgence of the disease.
Rotary clubs worldwide meet $200 million challenge
(January 17, 2012)--Rotary International has succeeded in meeting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s US$200 million match in funding for polio eradication, raising more than $202.6 million as of January 17, 2012.
“We’ll celebrate this milestone, but it doesn’t mean that we’ll stop raising money or spreading the word about polio eradication,” Rotary Foundation Trustee John F. Germ told Rotary leaders at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA. “We can’t stop until our entire world is certified as polio-free.” ...
“In recognition of Rotary’s great work, and to inspire Rotarians in the future, the [Gates] foundation is committing an additional $50 million to extend our partnership,” said Jeff Raikes, chief executive officer of the Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates at the RI Convention, New Orleans, May 24, 2011
Read the text of Bill Gates keynote speech, or watch it below.