From a Rotarian friend, I received this good news this morning -
For many years, the acronym PAIN, has been used to identify four polio endemic countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Nigeria. But, NOW, the World Health Organization has officially removed India from the list of polio-endemic countries.
India has completed one year without any single new case of polio being reported in the country. India’s last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal state on 13 January 2011. Before polio eradication can be certified in India, it must go two more years without another case of the disease.
Until 2009, India accounted for nearly half the number of the world’s polio cases. Rotary International (which includes the KC Plaza Rotary Club and our donations) has played a major role in helping to stop the transmission of polio in India. Rotary has been a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 2988, along with WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also a key supporter of the initiative.
I don’t know the total amount that KC Plaza Rotarians have contributed, but it has been $2300/year for the last three years. This money comes from the Centurions donations and our Change for Charity for International Service. But, we have been contributing at significant levels for many years.
I think THIS is a significantly wonderful day. Please join me in celebrating by telling one person today what Rotary and these partnerships have accomplished. Maybe the next person you see, maybe the person you have lunch with or the person working next to you. Celebrate by telling someone.
Rotarians and non-Rotarians in the U.S. can help support polio eradication by texting POLIO to 90999.*
It’s pretty mind-blowing to think that Polio is so close to eradication from the earth, while people who can remember being terrorized or victimized by it as children are still among us.