The Disease Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. Most know it as poliovirus. The virus is spread 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. The key to preventing both types spreading is 3 doses of the oral vaccine.
The Rotary Club of St Peters makes regular donations to the END POLIO campaign to help eradicate this disease worldwide.
Rotary began the campaign to End Polio in the late 1970’s when there were 350,000 cases reported each year. Wonderful support has come from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, $2 for $1 to the tune of $100M is donated. Governments from around the world are extremely supportive, however we must keep up the momentum.
Who is Affected? Unless we eradicate polio, within 10 years, as many as 200,000 new cases could occur around the world each year. In the past few years, only two countries have reported cases of polio caused by the wild virus, but no child anywhere is safe until we’ve vaccinated every child. We must not give up. We must not risk resurgence of polio.