Posted by GLEN BEAUCHAMP on Oct 23, 2018
                              
 
Did  any Reader recognize the meaning  and  the importance of    World Polio Day 24th October.
 
After 30 years of bold action, historic achievements, and sometimes discouraging setbacks, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) have nearly brought polio to an end. 
 
Many readers may not be aware of the havoc that this virus had on the world's population.   In the early 20th century, polio (originally called infantile paralysis), was one of the most feared diseases in industrialized countries, paralysing hundreds of thousands of children every year.
 

 

Soon after the introduction of effective vaccines by  Dr Jonas Salk in the 1950s and Dr Albert Sabine 1955- 1960s , polio was brought under control and practically eliminated as a public health problem in Western industrialized countries. But it was not until Rotary's Polioplus commitment from 1985-88, that polio rates began to fall in the rest of the world 

It goes without saying that Rotary, has been and is still  a major force in polio eradication. Without Rotary there  wouldn’t  have been the same impact on polio  today and many lives would not have been saved.

How did it start ? You probably haven’t heard of Clem Renouf. See utube video https://iboostimmunity.com/articles/youve-probably-never-heard-clem-renouf-his-idea-changed-world

But without his visionary leadership as an Australian President of Rotary international 1978/79 , we would not be talking about the eradication of polio within a year. 

Through Rotary's  PolioPlus program – a global polio eradication initiative launched in 1985 – Rotary has contributed more than $1.5 billion and countless volunteer hours to end polio. It  has been responsible for immunizing more than 2.5 billion children (that’s more than one third of the people alive today!), and have played a role in advocating governments to contribute more than US$9 billion to fight polio. How was Rotary able to immunize that many children over these 30 years. Rotarians and volunteers in the Polio affected countries actually participated in taking and administering the vaccine - often under extreme and dangerous conditions.  To see a vaccination team in action visit the following webpage  https://www.rotary.org/en/go-journey-polio-vaccinator-uganda 
 
Of recent times one of the major sponsors has been the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which matches Rotary's and other parties' contributions. 
 
In 1988, there were 125 countries  in which polio was endemic. By 2018, this has been reduced to 3 ;  Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria  .
 
To read more about  Polio and where we are now and where we are going, please read the excellent  article by Diana Schoberg titled the " Annotated Guide to Ending Polio" . found on the October issue of Rotary Down Under magazine, pages 44 to 55 - This is a digital copy available by downloading from 

 

Since the introduction of Polioplus in 1985 , the Rotary Club of Engadine has donated on an almost annual basis to the polio plus program either directly or indirectly through contributions to The Rotary Foundation which in turn provides annual grants to the program 
 
Why not help by making an online donation through     https://www.endpolio.org/donate
 
If you would like to know more about Engadine Rotary visit our website at https://www.engadinerotary.org.au/ 
 
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