International Work Polio

Polio National Immunisation Day
January 2018

Delhi Uptown NID Booth

Four members from the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper travelled to India to take part in the January 2018 Polio National Immunisation Day (NID).

Astrid and Ben, in their first visit to India, travelled to Delhi to help local Rotarians in Delhi and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Richard and Hazel joined Rotarians in Bhiwadi in Rajasthan and Gurgaon in Haryana, for their 8th visit to assist with a NID. All then travelled in different parts of India to experience the sights, sounds and culture.

On the streets of Ghaziabad
In Ghaziabad with children parading in the streets to encourage people to bring their under 5s for the Polio drops
Giving Polio drops
Purple Pinkie
The little finger on the left hand is marked with indelible purple ink when the child is given the drops

Our booth in Gurgaon
Area around the booth
Giving Polio drops

Purple Pinkie
UK Team in Bhiwadi and Gurgaon

In India there were:

History and Background of Polio Eradication

After a successful pilot project of Polio immunisation in the Philippines in 1979, Rotary launched its most ambitious programme: PolioPlus
Rotary International provides US$2.6 million grant to Tamil Nadu for Polio vaccine
Rotarians around the world raise US$246 million for PolioPlus funds for the purchase of vaccine for a five year term
World Health Assembly resolves to eradicate Polio from the world. GPEI – Global Polio Eradication Initiative - spearheaded by Rotary, WHO, the US CDC and UNICEF

On 5 May 2014, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the international spread of wild poliovirus (WPV) a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). This means that all cases must be reported, investigated, and action taken to halt the potential progress.

For over 30 years, Rotary members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world. In 1985 there were 350,000 cases per year worldwide. Polio-endemic countries have dropped from 125 to just three in 2018, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. In 2017 there were 14 cases in Afghanistan and 8 in Pakistan. In 2018 to date (March) just 3 cases of wild polio virus have been reported in Afghanistan.

Over 2.5 billion children have received immunisation thanks to the help of Rotary.

Rotary's contribution worldwide at present stands at US $1.7billion toward the PolioPlus Program. Rotary, apart from their own contribution, helped raise more than US $8.5 billion from other organisations. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches Rotary donations at $2 for every $1 raised.

Work still continues, with India, the latest country to be declared polio free monitoring high risk areas to keep the disease at bay.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative Partnership

How the organisations work together.