October 24 is World Polio Day, and the Culver City Rotary Club is proud to be part of the impetus for almost 30 years for the eradication of polio in the world. With the recent outbreak of Ebola, this is important to acknowledge. People can, and do, come together to help countries to fight deadly diseases.
The Culver City Rotary Foundation, the volunteer fundraising arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative—a public private partnership that also includes the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Rotary’ Foundation’s donation was tripled thanks to a 2-1 match by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!
Contributions come at an important time in the fight to eradicate polio, which would be only the second human disease—next to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic—to be eradicated. Only three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) have not yet stopped the transmission of the poliovirus. Since the Rotary program began in 1988, the number of polio cases has been reduced 99% from 350,000 a year to about 400 in 2013.
Rotary, a humanitarian organization with nearly 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, made polio eradication its top priority in 1985. Rotary has since contributed $1.3 billion in US dollars, and its members have logged countless volunteer hours to help immunize two billion children in 122 countries—and Culver City’s Rotary Club and Foundation has played a pivotal role from the gate! Many local members have traveled and volunteered in many countries. We can be proud of our local Rotarians in Culver City for playing a pivotal role. Rotary International involvement began as far back as 1979 with a successful pilot program to immunize children in the Philippines.
Share your voice by raising awareness that we are “This Close” to ending polio in the world. Encourage your government to support Rotary and its partners efforts for polio eradication. AND see your donation tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation! Finally, support the fight to end polio by visiting www.endpolionow.org to learn more and contribute.