Polio

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PolioPlus, the most ambitious program in Rotary’s history, is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. Since the program began in 1985, Rotary has led the private sector in the global effort to rid the world of this crippling disease. Thanks to this effort, more than two billion children have received the oral polio vaccine.

Today, PolioPlus and its role in the initiative is recognized worldwide as a model of public-private cooperation in pursuit of a humanitarian goal. In addition to providing financial and volunteer support, Rotary works to urge support from other public and private sector partners. This includes the campaign to End Polio Now, inspired by the extraordinary challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A Brief History of PolioPlus

Since PolioPlus began in 1985, Rotary’s vast network of 1.2 million members has contributed money, volunteer time, and networking expertise to the polio eradication effort.

  • Rotary’s financial contributions to the global polio eradication effort will reach nearly US$1.2 billion by the time the world is certified polio-free.
  • Rotary’s leadership, beginning in 1985, inspired the World Health Assembly to pass a resolution to eradicate polio, which paved the way for the formation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988.
  • Thousands of Rotarians around the world have volunteered during National Immunization Days to immunize children.
  • The PolioPlus program helps Rotary fund operational costs, such as transportation, vaccine delivery, social mobilization, and training of health workers, and support surveillance activities.
  • Rotarians work to encourage both donor and polio-affected governments to commit the political and financial resources needed to eradicate polio. 

Be Part of Rotary's $200 Million Challenge

Rotary's $200 Million Challenge is the Rotary Foundation's response to the two grants totaling $355 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help eradicate polio. Every dollar given to PolioPlus will be counted toward the $20 million match, which must be completed by 30 June 2012. 

End Polio Now District Chair: Dr. Bud Phillis

Vice Chair: Betsy Moreland