Eradicate Polio

German Bosnian

Victory over polio – forever

We have been fighting the global fight against the world for over 30 yearsPolio committed. It is our stated goal thatEradicate polio worldwide – and we have our goal FASTreached. When we started vaccinating six million children in 1979the Philippines, it seemed an unattainable utopia.Today there are only a few cases of infection in two countriesEarth ahead: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. And here too we willdefeat the virus.

Schoolgirls show their color-coded fingers after their polio vaccination during the national vaccination days in Addis Ababa
Photo: Jean-Marc Giboux

(Original article: )

24. October 2019 – On today’s World Polio Day, an independent commission of experts came to the conclusion that the wild polio virus type 3 (WPV3) has been eradicated worldwide. After the eradication of smallpox and the wild polio virus type 2, this announcement represents a historic achievement for mankind.

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The following text is a summary of the brochure by Herbert A. Pigman “Conquering Polio. A brief history of PolioPlus, Rotary’s role in a global program to eradicate the world’s greatest crippling disease” (Rotary International, 2005 – translation and editing: Matthias Schütt) Pigman, RC Boswell / Indiana, USA, was RI General Secretary from 1979 to 1986 and from 1993 to 1995 and held several leadership roles in the PolioPlus program. The brochure was created for the 2005 Rotary anniversary.

The Promise

It was New Year’s Day 1986 when Rotary International first approached the world with an international project and announced the PolioPlus program for the eradication of polio (polio). The forum for this was one of the major public marches in the USA, the Rose Parade in Pasadena / California USA, the presentation of which was followed by over 100 themed floats by 125 million TV viewers around the world that year.
The parade motto The Rotary organizers converted “A Celebration of Laughter” to: Turning tears into Laughter. A banner with a reference to Rotary’s 100th anniversary signaled the planned deadline: By 2005 Rotary wants polio for good As an ambassador on the float, a young man from Malawi waved to the audience. He suffered from polio as a child and, thanks to intensive medical treatment by Rotarian doctors, could now walk almost without aids: one of an estimated ten million people who are still under suffer the consequences of a polio infection. “What Wilborn Chuvala has been through is both triumph and tragedy”, Herbert A. Pigman writes: “Triumph because of his will to conquer the disease, tragedy because he and millions of other polio victims could have been spared death or crippling in the last 50 years if global health systems had been able to give out a few drops of vaccine, a vaccine that only costs a few cents. “

Thr Goal

When Rotary made this announcement to the global public 23 years ago, there was little doubt about the feasibility of eliminating polio by 2005, because two prerequisites were met: There were vaccines of high quality and low cost and Rotary had pioneered major international community activities with a new program structure. This and the dynamism of a worldwide network of one million Rotarians at the time gave cause for optimism. Even if they were aware of the extraordinary efforts that lay ahead of them to raise enormous funds, to find partners in the public sector, to acquire medical know-how and above all to win the members for hands-on, with which in the following 20 years actually The organizers could not count on any obstacles. Money was almost the least of a concern, but how do you convince millions of parents who have never had contact with a health authority to vaccinate? How should proof of the interruption of the transmission chain be made possible without first setting up a global laboratory system for control? In addition to these challenges, there were unpredictable setbacks due to wars, economic crises, the poor medical infrastructure in many third world countries and finally the emergence of new infectious diseases such as HIV / AIDS, which made ever greater efforts necessary in the fight for public funding.

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