A major achievement on the road...

5 November 2019

Rotary and its partners in the global polio eradication initiative have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries.

Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GILP) marked World Polio Day on 24 October 2019 with an important milestone: confirmation that the second type of wild poliovirus has been eradicated, an important step towards achieving the ultimate goal of a polio-free world.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced the historic event during a global online video address to Rotary International on October 24. He said an independent panel of health experts had certified the global elimination of the type 3 strain, which had not been detected anywhere in the world since Nigeria identified the polio case it caused in November 2012. The type 2 strain was certified as destroyed in 2015.

"Only wild poliovirus type 1 remains," Tedros said. He also praised Rotary's long fight against polio. "Everything you [Rotary] have done has brought us much closer to a polio-free world."

If eradicated, polio will follow smallpox as the second human disease to disappear from the world.

Rotarians of the world have contributed more than $2 billion to polio eradication since the polioplus program began in 1985 and intend to raise $50 million annually. U.S. on polio eradication activities.