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Polio Highlight

World Polio Day

There’s a lot to celebrate this World Polio Day, 24 October

In all but three countries of the world, governments supported by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have stopped transmission of this crippling virus. This year, fewer children (171) have been paralyzed by polio, in fewer parts of the world than ever before.

Since the launch of the GPEI’s Emergency Action Plan in May 2010, India – long thought to be the hardest place from which to eradicate polio – has stopped polio transmission. Polio now survives among the most marginalized communities of just three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Polio eradication is at a pivotal point, and the three countries and the partners supporting them are all in emergency mode. A massive surge of human resources – over 4000 people – has been deployed to assist the countries, but local ownership is at the heart of these efforts:

  • Traditional leaders take part in the selection of vaccinators in Nigeria
  • ‘Permanent’ polio vaccination teams operate in insecure parts of Afghanistan to ensure children can be vaccinated regardless of who controls the area
  • The overall administration at a district-level in Pakistan – not the health sector alone – is accountable for reaching every child in the area with vaccine 
  • A single focal point, a polio ‘tsar’, reports on the country’s progress to the head of state in all three countries.

In 2012, 398 million children have been vaccinated against polio. This week alone, nearly 20 million children are being vaccinated, in eight countries in Africa where children still face a high risk of polio paralysis.

Failure to eradicate polio would lead eventually to at least 200,000 children paralyzed worldwide every year, and as recent outbreaks in polio-free areas such as Tajikistan and China have shown, increasingly, adults have also been paralyzed, and killed. Only eradication will ensure a polio-free world. And prove that every child, everywhere, can be reached with life-saving vaccines.

To draw attention to this once-in-a-generation opportunity, join the world’s biggest commercial put together by Rotary International. And take action: write to world leaders, download an action pack


Original source: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:23

China One Year Polio-free

9 October 2012 marked 12 months since China’s last polio case.

In 2011, polio from Pakistan had infected the country, which had eradicated indigenous polio in 1994. China conducted a model response, and successfully stopped the outbreak in record time – three months from index to last case. For more on the outbreak response implemented in China, please click here

Rotary International to commit $75 million to end polio

EVANSTON, Ill., September 27, 2012 -- Rotary International plans to contribute US $75 million over three years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative as part of a worldwide effort to close a $945 million funding gap that threatens to derail the 24 year-old global health effort, even as new polio cases are at an all-time low. Rotary already has contributed more than $1.2 billion to stop this crippling childhood disease.

"It is imperative that governments step up and honor their commitments to polio eradication if we are to achieve our goal of a polio-free world," said Wilkinson. "We are at a true tipping point, with success never closer than it is right now. We must seize the advantage by acting immediately, or risk breaking our pledge to the world's children." Earlier this year, Rotary raised $228 million in new money for polio eradication in response to a $355 million challenge grant from the Gates Foundation, which promptly contributed an additional $50 million in recognition of Rotary's commitment.

The urgency at the UN follows action taken in May by the World Health Assembly, which declared polio eradication to be a "programmatic emergency for global public health." Although new polio cases are at an all-time low - fewer than 140 worldwide so far this year - the $945 million shortfall has already affected several scheduled immunization activities in polio-affected countries and could derail the entire program unless the gap is bridged.

Rotary's chief responsibilities in the initiative are fundraising and advocacy, a role of increasing importance as the end game draws near. In early September, Rotary launched a new, interactive website intended to educate, activate and inspire visitors to actively support the polio eradication effort.

For more information on Rotary International, visit:
For more information on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, visit:


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 11:05

Update on Vaccine-Derived Polioviruses

Update on Vaccine-Derived Polioviruses
Worldwide, April 2011–June 2012

Read it here

Source: CDC

High-level Event on Polio Eradication in New York City

Next week (on 27 September), UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will host a high-level event on polio eradication, in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.  The event, ‘Our Commitment to the Next Generation:  The Legacy of a Polio-free World’ will bring together leaders of the remaining endemic countries, donor governments, development agencies, spearheading partners and representatives of the media, to draw attention to the urgent need for focus and commitment to eradicate the remaining 1% of polio cases worldwide.    

The event will be followed by a global civil society festival on 29 September, bringing together top artists with an audience of 60,000 to a concert in New York’s Central Park, to catalyse further action to end polio and extreme poverty.  For more, please visit    

Last Updated on Friday, 21 September 2012 09:40
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