Rotary has inaugurated and influenced global and regional initiatives in support of polio eradication. In 1989, donations reached up to USD 27 million and supported 27 countries in the Americas. Rotary has also headed the initiative to mobilize several other organizations and institutions that are now part of this movement, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s matching fund contribution since 2007.
Rotary was a pioneer in the fight against polio and started efforts in 1978 with a very ambitious goal to reach a polio-free world. Rotarians have upheld the Region over the most challenging times, including financial and political crises. Rotary members have been permanently present in all countries of the Region since 1981 and have played a fundamental role in this long-lasting collaboration with PAHO.
Cooperation between PAHO and Rotary is a solid partnership that goes far beyond traditional financial support, involving the personal enthusiasm and commitment of Rotarians. The organization uses its networks and coordination to participate in local and regional meetings, exchange knowledge, and organize different sorts of events to mobilize funds and efforts, with a day-to-day presence and passionate dedication to this mission in each and every Rotarian district and club.
Rotary has been a true partner to PAHO in keeping the Region free of polio for almost 30 years. The organization constantly demonstrates its will to further strengthen the relationship so as to tackle upcoming challenges, thus maintaining focus to fight together until global eradication is achieved.