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Shelburne Rotarians fight to end polio

October 30, 2014   ·   0 Comments

When Rotarians around the world joined the fight to eradicate polio in 1998, no one could predict the dramatic impact the organization would have by 2014.
According to Cindy Sabo, President of the Rotary Club of Shelburne, “We are extremely close to making history, eliminating on of the world’s most devastating diseases, polio.”
Fast forward to 2014 and the progress is much more than astounding as 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries have been working towards the eradication of this disease for over 30 years and their hard work and dedication has paid off.
“When the initiative started, more than 350,000 people were stricken by Polio every year, nearly 1000 new polio cases every day. In 2013, there were only about 400 cases, a 99% reduction in cases,” Sabo proudly explained.
On October 23rd, Hajra Wilson, District 7080 Polio Plus Chair spoke to Shelburne Rotarians about the progress in the End Polio Now Campaign and that progress promised great news for the future.
“Polio is still found in three countries, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. India was declared Polio free just this year. It’s really wonderful,” commented Wilson. “For many different reasons, these countries were not getting vaccinations. Now they are slowly opening up to the idea and soon, hopefully we can eradicate polio entirely.” Wilson began her work in 1988 and recently received a plaque for her work in polio Plus, and as there are only 110 in the entire world, this is quite an accomplishment. The award is called the Rotary International Service Award for a Polio–Free World.
This important fight against Polio is not fought by the Rotarians alone and includes, Unicef, the CDC, The World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Impressively, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have agreed to match and double every donation capping their donation at an unprecedented 35 million dollars a year. That’s good news for those in the fight to end polio as the Rotarian information brochures predict their end game fight against polio will cost an estimated 5.5 billion.
Important to note that 100% of all money raised goes directly to the fight against polio. Why is this fight so important to Rotarians? According to their information, polio is resilient noting, “until polio is eradicated everywhere, no unvaccinated child is safe anywhere and if polio rebounds more than 200,000 children worldwide could be paralyzed each year within a decade.” The disease is swift, terrifying and preventable.
Go to endpolionow.org/resources for more information on how you can make a difference in the fight to eradicate polio.
And just where does Shelburne fit into this? Shelburne Rotarians received an impressive award, a certificate of appreciation for its financial support to ‘End Polio Now’ donating a whopping $1300 on the night they received the award.
It’s Sabo prediction that by the year 2018, and if the Rotary Club can stay on track, with the continued support and generous donations, the world will be polio free! Make your donation to your local Shelburne Rotary Club if you would like to me apart of the movement who eradicated polio.

By Alex Sher

         

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