India is no longer polio endemic, but immunization against the disease must continue in all countries until the eradication of polio is certified worldwide. The All India End Polio Now Road Show (below), organized by District 3201 (parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu), increased awareness of the disease in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Building on success
Rotary has played a key role in the significant progress made by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), underscored in February when the World Health Organization (WHO) removed India from the list of polio-endemic countries. Only three countries remain: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Despite the dramatic drop in polio cases worldwide, especially in nonendemic countries, the threat of continued transmission due to funding and immunization gaps prompted the launch of the Global Polio
Emergency Action Plan 2012-13.
The plan builds on India’s success and aims to boost immunization coverage to make the remaining polio-endemic countries polio free. In support of the plan, WHO adopted a resolution in May that declared “the completion of polio eradication to be a programmatic emergency for global public health.” Likewise, The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees reaffirmed that polio eradication is the urgent priority of the Foundation and that continued support for PolioPlus is essential.
Voices of Rotary
“As a Rotarian and a polio survivor, I celebrate how far we’ve come, and recognize the work that still lies ahead to make sure no child suffers from polio again.”
Urs Herzog, PolioPlus national advocacy adviser, Switzerland; past governor of District 1980