Our next DG, Richard Vergette, from Isle of Axholme Rotary, is currently preparing to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats. May 14th is the day! He intends to complete his journey on May 27th. Richard is raising money in aid of End Polio Now – part of the Rotary Foundation. Thanks to the work of the Rotary Foundation together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Polio has been eliminated in all but two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan. Many of you know that Richard’s father was a Polio survivor from the pandemic of 1947 and he will be cycling in his honour.
Contribute to Richard’s epic ride by supporting his cause easily online with Just Giving.
Today, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Africa region, has officially certified free from wild poliovirus, signifying a major milestone in the battle to eradicate the disease worldwide.
This certification has come four years after Nigeria, the last polio-endemic country in Africa, recorded its final case of wild polio and is an incredible public health achievement for Rotary members, the African region, and Rotary’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
This progress is the result of a decades-long effort across the 47 countries which make up the WHO’s African region and now means that five of the six WHO regions, which represent 90% of the world’s population, will be free of polio.
Efforts to get to this momentous stage have involved millions of health workers traveling by foot, boat, bike and bus to reach children, innovative strategies to vaccinate those living among conflict and insecurity, and a huge disease surveillance network to test cases of paralysis and check sewage for the virus.
In 1996, Rotary and our partners joined with Nelson Mandela to jumpstart Africa’s commitment to polio eradication. Since then, 9 billion doses of oral polio vaccine have been provided, averting an estimated 1.8 million cases of wild poliovirus on the continent.
Rotary members have played an invaluable role in the effort to rid the African region of wild polio.
By raising funds for polio eradication, advocating with world governments and national and local leaders, and raising awareness, Rotarians have contributed nearly US $890 million to conquer polio in the region.
Despite this incredible public health milestone, the job to fully rid the world of polio goes on, as the virus continues to circulate in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Vaccination programmes must continue to reach every last child and strengthen routine immunisation to keep immunity levels high, so the virus does not return to Africa.
Rotary members across Great Britain and Ireland remain committed to making the final, challenging steps towards a polio free world a reality.
Events will be taking place across the world on 24th October, to mark annual World Polio Day.
Our impact starts with you.
You can help make our pledge to rid the world of polio reality by donating to our End Polio Now campaign. Every donation to Rotary will be trebled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, so every £1 will become £3.
You can also get involved with our Purple4Polio activities; fun fundraising ideas to bring your community together while protecting children around the world.
If you already have an event planned in the to celebrate World Polio Day, or the certification of a polio-free Africa region, let us know! Please register your events using this online form so they can be added them to our event map.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Sutton in Ashfield
All Rotary Clubs are invited to enter and get their members, families and friends sponsored to raise money for their club contribution to the End Polio Now Campaign of The Rotary Foundation.
For every Club that enters – $100 will be donated from District Foundation funds to End Polio Now.
Rotarians have proudly helped to reduce polio cases by 99.9% since 1988.
Why your support is still needed?
Rotary has helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries and contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating the disease worldwide.
On the 21st August 2019 it was three years since the last reported case of polio caused by the wild poliovirus in Nigeria. I
There are up to 60 countries in the world where over 400 million children need to be immunised, in most cases multiple times each year, to ensure that the virus does not return.
If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyse as many as 200,000 children each year.
It is estimated that $3.27 billion is still needed for the 2019-2023 End Game Strategy of ridding the world of polio.
The Rotary goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever with your support.
You can help by getting your Club to sponsor walkers for the 4.8-mile circular route
The walk/stroll is in the countryside, off road, along disused railway tracts where rails, sleepers and undergrowth have been cleared. It is suitable for children, dogs and mobility scooters. Stewards will be positioned at strategic points along the route to provide any necessary assistance and emergency contact with first aiders and doctors. The walk is estimated to take about 2 hours and there is a large free car park at the visitors centre.
Registration and sponsorship forms are presented below; further copies can be downloaded from our website.www.sina-rotary.org.uk or by telephone to 07710807631
Registration of walkers is free from 1:30pm with a start time of 2pm from the Centre Car Park at: – Teversal Visitors Centre: Top of Carnarvon Street, Teversal, Sutton in Ashfield, Notts NG17 3HJ
Ashfield District Council and Kirkby Rotary Club have been working together to highlight Rotary international’s ‘Eradicate Polio’ campaign.
To raise awareness of the continuing fight against the disease that still affects parts of the developing world, purple crocus bulbs have been planted by pupils at Kirkby’s Morven Park School. The planting took place on October 22nd to coincide with the international Eradicate Polio Day from funding provided by the Council. The ADC Corporate Communications Manager issued a news release and photograph to local media.
President Paul Riley said: “Rotary has been involved in the eradication of polio for around thirty years and the end is now in sight. We are delighted that Ashfield District Council has supported us by supplying the bulbs for the children to plant.”
At the same time, the Council themselves set several thousand of the purple crocus bulbs in Morven Park next to the school. More were planted early this month by pupils at Orchard and Kingsway Primary Schools in Kirkby, with Bracken Hill School following as we go on-line. Rotary Club of Kirkby in Ashfield are also raising funds by selling crocus badges and bags of bulbs.
President Paul Riley with other Rotarians, staff and students from Morven Park school, planting purple crocus bulbs on World Polio Day
There is much good news this month regarding our fight to eradicate Polio. We are not only so close to completing our mission, but so very close to doing so. It is going to take some more time and most likely some very hard work to accomplish worldwide eradication but we will do it.
Nigeria has gone all of 2015 without any cases of Polio. However, it cannot be declared Polio-free until 2018. Nigeria’s last case of wild Polio was reported on 24th July 2014. This means Nigeria will be declared Polio-free in 2018 if no more cases of Polio are reported. This would also be great news for the continent of Africa as well which has not had anyone contracting Polio since January 24th 2015. We may see Africa declared Polio-free by 2019. That would be fantastic to welcome in 2020 with Africa Polio-free!
The graph below shows two things: how bad things can get in one country alone with Polio and how good things can get with a concentrated eradication effort.
World Health Organisation Criteria on Being Declared Polio Free
So, how does a country or continent get certified Polio-free? There are many theories about how and when an area is certified Polio-free. Below are the World Health Organisation’s criteria for such a certification and I hope this clears up any misconceptions.
1) STEP ONE – measured from the date that paralysis commences in the last case of “wild polio”. (Wild polio refers to a form of the virus that was common in pre-vaccination times and caused a large burden of disease. It has been virtually eliminated except in the countries where polio is still endemic.) If a year passes without any new cases diagnosed, the WHO removes a country from its list of polio-endemic countries.
2) STEP TWO – To be certified polio-free, WHO rules require that a country and its regional neighbours prove that they have stopped the transmission of the polio virus for at least three consecutive years. Detailed laboratory testing data must be submitted to support this.
NOTE: Being removed from the list of Polio-Endemic Countries DOES NOT mean that country has achieved Polio- Free status.
More Good News
Here is an article worth all our attention in the fight against Polio. Not only have we worked hard to eradicate Polio but spin-off technology has come about to help fight all deadly viruses worldwide. Go to the following link and you will find a new vaccine delivery method that will revolutionise vaccine distribution in the future.
Amanda Watkins asked me to pass on to you the latest information on this campaign. I am pleased to report the great success yesterday by Judith Diment, Anna Rieder and all those working in Strasbourg over the last few days collecting more than 80 further MEP signatures. Here is yesterday’s report we were all hoping for.
We are extremely pleased to let you know that more than 377 MEPs (the required threshold) have signed our Written Declaration on continued European Union support for polio eradication!
This is a major achievement after 3 months campaigning by everyone involved … encouraging MEPs to support polio eradication as an EU policy and funding priority. Formal adoption and announcement may take place tomorrow still or else on Thursday.
A very big thank you and congratulations to you all for now. For the twitter-savvy amongst us, it may be good to already start creating some buzz online while we will also develop some thoughts how to communicate this success for the GPEI.
Please see a suggested tweet: Let’s make polio history! @Europarl_EN just adopted declaration on EU support & funding for polio eradication. @WHO @Rotary @UNICEF
Thank you for taking the time to read through this District update.
We hope you have found it informative. If you would like a speaker on the subject of Polio Plus please feel free to contact me. I will be glad to come and speak to your club about Polio Plus.
Rtn Greg Maskalick / Polio Plus Coordinator on District Foundation Committee
07834 728 540
One might think a man living with polio in an iron lung would know about Rotary. But it wasn’t until Paul Alexander had a business meeting with a member in Duncanville, Texas, earlier this year that he learned Rotary fights to eradicate the very disease that left him almost completely paralyzed.