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“Eradicating polio in India was a monumental task, demanding an extraordinary effort by all levels of government and partners involved. Backed by more than 100,000 Rotarians across the country, we helped to ensure maximum support for everything from National Immunization Days to mop-up immunization rounds.”
— Deepak Kapur, India PolioPlus Committee chair

Eradicating Polio

From helping achieve milestone victories to rapidly quelling outbreaks, Rotary enabled the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to gain crucial ground in the fight to eradicate polio. Rotary is a leading partner in the GPEI, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Besides placing two drops of vaccine into children’s mouths, Rotary members, along with health workers, helped change the hearts and minds of community leaders and parents opposed to immunization to allow children to be vaccinated in Pakistan. And our advocacy with government and business leaders, along with our members’ generous contributions, pushed forward the polio endgame plan, aimed at certifying global eradication of the disease by 2018.

Be a part of history

Support Rotary’s work to achieve a polio-free world. Your gift will support immunization campaigns in countries where children remain at risk. Learn more

Southeast Asia becomes polio-free

The World Health Organization’s 11-country Southeast Asia region was certified polio-free in March. Representing more than 25 percent of the world’s population, the region includes India, which just five years ago accounted for nearly half of all polio cases worldwide.

Nigeria close to ending polio

Relentless work by Rotary and its GPEI partners helped reduce the number of polio cases in Nigeria by almost 90 percent as of July, compared over the same time last year. The Nigeria PolioPlus Committee supported health camps that provided free checkups, immunization against polio and other diseases, and medications.

Responding to outbreaks

The World Health Organization in May declared the spread of wild poliovirus a “public health emergency of international concern.” To help quell outbreaks in the Horn of Africa and Middle East, Rotary provided emergency funds, including a $500,000 rapid response grant for Somalia and a $500,000 grant for the Middle East.

Earning community trust despite danger

In the face of intimidation from militant groups, Rotary members established eight polio resource centers in Pakistan to build community trust in areas at high risk for the disease. The centers sponsor a range of free health services. They also advocate for and provide immunizations to schoolchildren.

Only three countries are polio endemic

The number of new polio cases has dropped more than 99 percent since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, to just over 400 in 2013 from 350,000 in 1988.

Who we work with

Rotary works with local and international organizations and educational institutions to carry out worldwide humanitarian efforts.

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Advocating polio eradication

Our advocacy for polio eradication brought support from donor nations, nonprofits, and businesses.

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Funding the fight

Rotary members and friends of Rotary — together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — are helping to make history today.

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