In 1985 a group of Rotarians decided that polio could be eliminated with a program of immunisations. At that time some 125 countries had endemic polio killing and crippling their people. By 1988 Rotary had illuminated polio from the Philippines and the World Health Organisation agreed that it could be done world-wide. A partnership was formed with the WHO leading and backed by Rotary International, the United States Centre for Disease Control and UNICEF.
Today, polio is endemic in only three countries and a continuing immunisation program is bringing the end of polio ever nearer. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given over US$500 million to Rotary to help provide funding to finish the job and Rotarians in over 200 countries are still raising money and volunteering their time to help complete the task.
As of 31st May 2012, only 64 new cases of polio have been reported this year. This is by far the lowest ever and compares to a total of 650 cases in 2011: which was itself the first time in memory that there were less than 1,000 cases in a year.
The Rotary Club of Hall is proud to have given over $13,000 to the Polio Eradication campaign in recent years and that means that all residents of the surrounding suburbs have helped by giving to Hall Rotarians when donations are asked for.
DG Rob Woolley recently congratulated the Rotary Club of Hall for the contribution made to Rotary’s most important project, the eradication of polio. He presented President Barbara with a certificate in appreciation for the donation to The Rotary Foundation for Polio Plus of over $2,000.
Rotary Club of Hall member and Past District Governor Bernie Rogers has been a passionate supporter of the eradication of Polio, having suffered Polio as a child. He has been the Zone trainer for the last 3 years, responsible for 700 clubs in 9 countries.
For the Polio story, watch this informative ABC report: