Did you know that . . .
- Polio is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects children under the age of three and can cause paralysis within hours.
- Before eradication efforts began in 1988, polio paralyzed more than 1,000 children a day, which totaled about 350,000 children annually. The incidence of polio has since declined by more than 99 percent.
- Vaccinations easily can stave off polio. Vaccinations have prevented an estimated 500,000 children per year from contracting polio. A child can be protected against polio for as little as 60 cents (US) worth of vaccine.
- Only four countries are still polio endemic — an all-time low: Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Rotary International is the spearheading member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and is the largest private sector donor. It has contributed more than US$600 million to the polio eradication activities in 122 countries. In addition, tens of thousands of Rotarians have partnered with their national ministries of health, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and with health providers at the grassroots level in thousands of communities.