Posted on Oct 24, 2023
World Polio Day, October 24th, is a time to celebrate the huge achievement of the global campaign to rid the world of polio, which Rotary started in the Philippines 38 years ago. Back then more than 350,000 children in 120 countries were paralyzed by polio every year. Today, Rotary and its partners have reduced the incidence of polio by 99.9%. Today 20 million people, who might have been paralyzed by polio, are walking. Another 1.5 million people, who would have died from polio, are alive.
So far, the global effort to eradicate polio has saved more than $27 billion in health care costs. Another $14 billion is expected to be saved by 2050.
Polio eradication will be one of history’s greatest public health achievements. It will become only the second human disease eradicated from the world after smallpox.
While there is much to celebrate by Rotary and many individuals, foundations and governments in this campaign, it’s also a time to recommit ourselves to seeing it through to conclusion.
Funding is still needed to completely eradicate polio from the world so it won't return.

More than 400 million children a year still need to immunized against polio.
If we stop now, within 10 years, as many as 200,000 children EACH YEAR could be paralyzed.
Polio surveillance networks and vaccination campaigns also monitor children for other health problems, like vitamin deficiency and measles to address them sooner.
The disease surveillance systems to detect any poliovirus in a person or the environment need to be improved.
More than 150,000 health workers need to be hired to go door to door to find every child.
There are many worthy causes to support and disaster relief needs in our turbulent world today, but Rotarians are asked to please consider donating to Rotary’s PolioPlus campaign to fulfill our commitment long ago to future generations of children.