- A Rotarian immunizes a child against polio. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo by Jean-Marc Giboux.
Decades ago, polio outbreaks were a constant threat around the world. After the introduction of polio vaccines by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin and a steadfast immunization effort, these outbreaks became part of history in most of the world.
- Yet many still live under the threat of polio, which is why Rotary and its global partners are committed to reaching every child with the vaccine and ending this disease worldwide.
- Major gains have been made in the global fight against polio:
- In the 1980s, 1,000 children were infected by the disease every day in 125 countries. Today, polio cases have declined by 99 percent, with fewer than two thousand cases reported in 2006.
- Two billion children have been immunized, five million have been spared disability, and over 250,000 deaths from polio have been prevented.