The eradication of polio is one of Rotary's longest-standing and most significant efforts, and we have helped our global partners to reduce polio cases by 99.9% worldwide. But as long as polio exists anywhere, it remains a threat everywhere. Rotary won't stop until we end the disease for good. 
Rotary's involvement with the End Polio campaign began in 1979 with a multi-year project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. Since then, along with our global partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. Although the incidence of polio has decreased by 99.9%, it is still endemic in two countries - Afghanistan and Pakistan - where it continues to paralyze children. 
 
In 1985, Rotary launched PolioPlus to bring many added benefits to the polio eradication efforts. The “Plus” could be providing a hand-operated tricycle for a polio survivor, or providing access to clean water in a community. It might be additional medical treatment, bed nets, or soap. A 2010 study estimates that vitamin A drops given to children at the same time as the polio vaccine have prevented 1.25 million deaths by decreasing susceptibility to infectious diseases.
 
If we stay committed to this mission, polio will be the second human disease ever to be eradicated (the only other one is smallpox).
 
 
WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO recognizing and thanking Rotary for its pioneering role in eradicating polio by uniting leaders and health organizations around the world, including UNICEF, the WHO and the GATES FOUNDATION.