Latest Message from Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations - October 2012
A Shared Responsibility
These are the words of Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, talking of the final stages in the campaign to end polio and at what was probably the biggest and most important meeting on polio eradication that has ever been held.
"With only 150 cases in total so far this year, very few Type 3 cases, only three endemic countries left, and only four countries in the entire world still with cases, we are that close to ending polio. India has done it with no case now for well over 18 months so the rest of the word can emulate that feat.
All it needs is a final push from Rotarians and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. We need to use our time, contacts and influence and not necessarily our money, although that is still needed. We have a funding gap for next year of over $300 million.
Advocacy is the in-word now. Talk to those who may be prepared to help financially, particularly if they have not done so in the past – use our contacts individuals, businesses, and large companies. Talk to our politicians and ask them to continue the funding – our Government has already given almost as much as Rotary International over the last 20 years. Talk to our family and business contacts in the remaining infected countries and use those contacts to spread the good news, and explain the challenge still facing us – ignorance about vaccination, resistance to having the vaccine, conflict zones, low immunity levels and political negativity in the various communities still affected or at risk. Talk of the benefits – no child ever again needs to fear paralysis, Rotarians and the world organisations can concentrate on other challenges, and we will save somewhere between one and two billion dollars annually worldwide. Ban Ki Moon was right – we all share that responsibility."
Quote provided by
Adviser to the International Polio Plus Committee
Everyday is polio day until it is eradicated
The eradication of polio from the world is the number one priority of Rotary International. Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland and beyond raise funds, administer the vaccine and continue to spearhead the End Polio Now campaign, which started in the 1980s.
Since then, the number of endemic countries has fallen from 125 to three: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. India was removed from the endemic list in January 2012 after a year of no new cases. It must have a continuous run of no new cases for three years tp be considered officially polio free. This is thanks to the dedication of Rotary clubs in the country who work with health partners to deliver the polio vaccine to millions of tiny children, protecting them from a lifetime of crippling pain and deformed limbs.
Progress has reach a point where we are almost there but, as with any major project, the difficult part is finishing the job. Rotary is totally committed to meeting its promise to the world that the disease will be eradicated.
There are many ways to be involved. Rotary events bring communities across Great Britain and Ireland into contact with their local Rotary club through fundraising activities and awareness days. While the disease may not have been seen in this country for many years, our help is still needed to make the disease history in other countries.
|Polio Update April 2013|