Polio Plus Update


By Past District Governor Dennis Shore - February 2018

The global fight to eradicate the world of the polio virus is getting ever closer to achieving its goal. The report from Rotary International, which can be accessed here provides a very useful summary of what has been happening.

At year end the number of cases due the Wild Polio Virus in 2017 was 22, a little higher than had been reported at the time of publication. That was a significant improvement from the 37 cases in all of 2016 and importantly there were no new cases from Nigeria. 14 of the 22 infections were in Afghanistan and 8 in Pakistan.

There is also some news that is less positive. The number of cases of the Circulating vaccine derived virus increased from a negligible 5 cases to 91. This spike mainly relates to the total breakdown of infrastructure and difficulty of access in Syria (74 cases up from 0) and 14 cases in the DR Congo (0 previously). The good news is that the wild polio virus is still under control in those countries.

Clubs and Rotarians are understandably suffering from “Polio funding fatigue” but we are so close and our promise to the children of the world has not yet quite come to pass.  Our district will provide some of our DDF as a tangible contribution and we thank those clubs and individuals who have also supported the appeal. As we get closer to the end of the Rotary year we would ask clubs to do what they can. Remember that every dollar contributed is matched 2 to one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

2017-18 Fundraising Goals


US$1,500 per club (US$50 million total)

Total Contributions (as of 10 Dec) US$18.9 million

20% or more DDF from all districts (US$10 million total)

DDF raised: US$4.1 million

US$5.0 million in Major Gifts

Major Gifts: US$5.4million

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