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Changing the future for the world’s children

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Together, we are leading the fight to end polio through our fundraising efforts, our awareness campaigns, and our work as a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Here are five ways Rotary is making progress:

1. We’ve come a long, long way.

In 1988, an estimated 350,000 cases of polio occurred in 125 countries. In 2018, 33 cases of wild poliovirus were reported in only two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. That’s a 99.9 percent reduction in global polio cases. 

2. Nigeria reaches crucial polio milestone.

Nigeria hasn’t reported a case of wild poliovirus in over three years and could soon be removed from the list of polio-endemic countries. What has contributed to the country’s success? Holding regular immunization days, increasing disease-detection activities, and engaging with communities and institutions.

3. Bold strategies are widening our reach.

New approaches are helping to reach more children. In Nigeria’s Lake Chad region, health workers are using new technologies to increase the accuracy of regional vaccination plans. They’re also deploying speedboats to deliver vaccines to remote islands, reducing travel times from days to hours.

4. New solutions are advancing our work. 

Rotary is turning obstacles into opportunities. In Afghanistan, where health workers have faced resistance to vaccination campaigns, Afghan Rotarians worked with the government and GPEI partners to meet with local leaders, address misconceptions, and foster greater community acceptance. Rotary also funded permanent transit posts to provide vaccinations to people moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. 

In Brazil, Rotary clubs worked with the government to stave off a potential polio outbreak after health officials reported dangerously low vaccination rates. More than 11 million children were vaccinated in two months. 

5. Complementary services are bolstering eradication efforts.

Rotary is addressing multiple needs through its polio eradication activities. Some communities in Pakistan where polio thrives lack clean water and proper sanitation and struggle with a variety of health issues. Rotary continues to partner with Coca-Cola Pakistan to install solar water-filtration plants in high-risk communities. Since 2016, 12 plants have been installed across the country — just one example of the “plus” in PolioPlus.