The Rotary Foundation UK has this year contributed $1,941,555 US to the Annual Fund almost half of which has gone to the fight to elimiate polio worldwide.
- Africa is poised to be certified polio-free in early 2020.
- There are three types of polio-types 1, 2 and 3. Type 2 was certified eradicated in 2015. Type 3 will likely be certified eradicated in early 2020.
- To date, 18 million lives have been saved because of polio eradication efforts.
- Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent Nigeria, are essentially the last remaining areas where the disease survives. This is because of rumours about the vaccine’s safety spread online and by word of mouth, ultimately leading to boycotts of the vaccinations, protests and even violence.
So far, in 2019 we have seen 21 cases in Pakistan (12 cases in 2018) and 8 cases in Afghanistan (21 cases in 2018) giving a total so far this year of 29 cases of Wild Polio Virus type 1. (33 cases in 2018) This represents a reduction of over 99% from an estimated 350 000 case that killed and crippled people in 1988. We are within a gnat’s whisker of eliminating this dreadful disease and Rotary has played a leading role – suipported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in achieving this.