District 7475 Committee Chair - PDG Julie Ann Juliano, Branchburg Club
In its early years, PolioPlus was dedicated to fundraising for immunization efforts. In May 1988 Rotary announced that the campaign, which aimed to raise $120 million, had raised nearly $220 million in contributions and pledges. That same year, the World Health Assembly set a goal of worldwide polio eradication and launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with Rotary as one of its partners. At the time, polio paralyzed more than 1,000 children worldwide every day and 125 countries were polio-endemic.
The GPEI partners, which also included WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were able to boost world immunization levels from less than 50 percent in 1985 to over 80 percent in 1992. Just five years after the GPEI was founded, the 500 millionth child was immunized against polio. To further efforts, Rotary started the PolioPlus Partners program in 1995, to fund and support National Immunization Days in polio-endemic countries (The Rotarian).
In 2007 Rotary entered into a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which issued Rotary a $100 million challenge grant to raise funds for polio eradication. This partnership continued to grow, and in 2013 the Gates Foundation offered to match Rotary’s contributions for polio eradication 2-to-1 for five years (up to $35 million per year).
PolioPlus is truly international. Rotary has 1.2 million members in nearly every country working together to end polio for good.
Donate to Polio Eradication
For as little as 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected for life. Your donation now works even harder: Every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will become three dollars, thanks to a 2-to-1 match from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Go to http://www.endpolio.org/donate to donate. Every cent counts!