Did you know that . . .
  • The Polio Plus program actually started in the very late 1979 when Rotarians in the Philippines were given a 3H grant to immunize all 6 Million children in that country.  In two years they had done it and by 1975 the Philippines had been certified Polio Free.
  • When the eradication efforts began in 1988, polio paralyzed more than 1,000 children a day. The incidence of polio has since declined by more than 99 percent until in 2017 there were 22 cases worldwide.
  • Polio is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects children under the age of five. The disease is transmitted through water that is infected with the Polio virus.  A child drinks the water and can become paralyzed within hours.  The virus is excreted back into the water system, providing another child the opportunity to become infected.
  • Vaccinations easily stave off polio. Vaccinations have prevented over 16 Million children from contracting polio. A child can be protected against polio for as little as 60 cents (US) worth of vaccine.
  • Only three countries are still polio endemic - an all-time low: Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
  • Rotary International has been a member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative since it was started in 1988.  Other members of this leading body to eradicate polio are, The Center for Disease Control, UNESCO, World Health Organization and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Together with the Gates Foundation, Rotary has contributed more than US$1.8 Billion to the polio eradication activities in 122 countries. In addition, tens of thousands of Rotarians have volunteered time all over the world to assist in the eradication effort.
  • The job now is to get to zero cases and stay there for three years.  After this, the world can be certified polio free. There is an excellent article listed to the left of this paragraph called “The Annotated Guide to Eradicating Polio”.