PolioPlus – A Rotary Foundation Project
Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. Most know it as the poliovirus which is spread from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine – one which Rotary and our partners use to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide.
Polio Plus is a Rotary Foundation project aimed at vaccinating vulnerable children globally, to immunize them from contracting the Poliomylitis virus. The Rotary effort to eradicate the Poliovirus started in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Phillipines, the project rook on global proportions and became known as PolioPlus when in 1985 a target of Million was set to raise funds for this eradication effort. Progress has been significant and since 1988 the project has successfully reduced the global incidence of Poliovirus cases by 99.9%.
By 2009 Rotary’s overall contribution to this Poliovirus eradication effort nears the million mark In January, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged million to PolioPlus and issued Rotary a challenge grant of million i.e. Rotary needed to raise the million to receive the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation monies and secure a combined million in support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Rotary achieved their million fundraising target in 2012, some 5 months ahead of the target date.
In 2017, there are only 3 countries from which the Poliovirus is yet to be eliminated. The Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon supports the PolioPlus with annual contributions towards the costs of this significant immunization project. Knights Pendragon seeks community minded donors to assist us in contributing this global effort.