Recently, the continent of Africa was declared Polio Free.  That now leaves only two Polio endemic countries - Pakistan and Afghanistan. The long fight is nearing its end.  99.9% of the world in now Polio free.
 
Many people are unaware that the original campaign to drive polio from the world was Rotary's Gift to the Children of the Future - a polio free world.
 
The original campaign was called Polio Plus. The 'Plus' included several other vaccines that brought health to millions of children. There was another part to the 'Plus' - the establishment of virus monitoring sites in countries around the world that did not have such facilities.  Since the polio program began, these laboratories have been used in identifying and managing Ebola, SARS and the current pandemic, Covid-19.
 
The 'Father' of the polio program was Sir Clem Renouf, a Queenslander who went on to become President of Rotary International. Sir Clem passed away earlier this year. He will not be with us to celebrate the eradication of this crippling and deadly disease. He won't be forgotten though.
 
Rotary and Rotarians are very proud of the Polio program.