Rotary is this close to helping world health organizations eradicate polio.
In 1985 there were 350,000 cases of the crippling disease in 125 countries. Today, thanks to the efforts of Rotarians, the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others, the number of endemic countries has been reduced to four: Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Still, if people don’t act, more than 10 million children will be paralyzed in the next 40 years.
After 20 years of work, Rotary International is making a final push to eradicate the disease. It is asking the world community to help raise $555 million to directly support immunization campaigns in developing countries. “As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk,” Rotary states on its website. “The stakes are that high.”