Rotary Club of Belfast

World Polio Day 2020

WPD 2020The Club proudly marks World Polio Day recognising the work of Rotary and our partners and the millions of people involved in so many ways in the fight for a polio free world. In August, Rotary and the world celebrated a significant milestone, as the World Health Organization certified the Africa region, which includes 47 countries, free from wild polio. An achievement recognised in Parliament by the Prime Minister. This leaves just Pakistan and Afghanistan as the two remaining polio endemic countries in the world.

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. Rotary spearheaded a vaccination campaign at a time when there were over 1,000 polio cases a day in 125 countries and since 1985 Rotary has donated US$2.1 billion to the eradication effort and has protected more than 2.5 billion children from the disease reducing the number of cases by 99.9%. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts and thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2:1 matching pledge, every £1 is worth £3.

The Club has been one of the largest contributors throughout the United Kingdom, in some years the largest donor, and remains committed to working to eliminate this potentially deadly virus and make Rotary's dream of a polio free world a reality.

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