Our Meeting of 20 October
(Many thanks to Club Secretary Jenny for this report)
 
World Polio Day
The focus of the meeting was celebration of World Polio Day, with PP Graham Thomson, our Rotary Foundation Director, chairing proceedings.
Graham’s PowerPoint presentation covered Rotary’s world-wide fight to end polio, commencing in 1988 up to the present day. The good news is:
  • the number of people contracting polio each year has dropped by 99 percent since 1988

  • Africa is now polio free, and

  • Type 2 and Type 3 wild polio are now certified eradicated.

The bad news is that recently there has been a spike in polio cases, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that stopped vaccination and training programs. Afghanistan and Pakistan are experiencing a re-emergence of polio cases, where there are resistant pockets of unvaccinated children particularly in remote areas.
What is Rotary continuing to do?
  • Educating communities in prevention

  • Co-ordinating outbreak responses

  • Investigating cases

  • Training health workers

  • Tracing contacts of polio cases

  • Providing vaccine carriers and personal prevention equipment (PPE)

  • Vaccinating 400 million children in 40 countries every year (except 2020).

The partnership with the Gates Foundation continues that matches Rotary donations at a ratio of 2 to 1, thereby tripling our donation to the PolioPlus campaign.
 
Graham ended his most informative presentation by urging members to make a special donation to our World Polio Day.