In 1979, a Rotarian from Nambour in Queensland had an audacious idea – to eradicate the Polio from the world. This goal was taken up by Rotarians everywhere and is close to fruition – only 2 countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, now have the wild polio virus, with no cases recorded so far this year.  The Rotary Club of Kardinia supports Rotary’s largest program, End Polio Now, through enjoyable local fundraising activities and donations.  Come and join us to help eradicate this terrible disease from our planet.
Commencing in 1979 with the aim to vaccinate 6 million children in the Phillipines, Rotary, along with its partners in what eventually evolved into the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), have immunized more than 3 billion children against polio in 200 countries. In one week alone of the year 1995, health workers and volunteers immunized 165 million children in China and India. 20 million volunteers have been involved in this global effort dreamed up by a Queenslander, who became Rotary’s International President.
Rotary and our GPEI partners (WHO, US CDC, UNICEF, Gavi and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide and we won't stop until we end the disease for good. Rotary’s funding towards Polio eradication has now totalled $2.1 billion. These days, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches Rotary’s fund raising up to our total of $50 million per year, on a 2 for 1 basis.
It is sobering to note that if all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyse as many as 200,000 children each year.
Rotary’s role in the eradication of polio is manyfold – Fundraising: Rotary provides funds for this project and many others locally and across the globe through its own charitable fund - the Rotary Foundation. Rotary’s other roles in polio eradication include: advocacy and awareness, volunteer engagement, social mobilisation and of course partnerships. Rotary has driven this project from the outset. It is not without risk. We recently heard that over 60 people have died in the vaccination efforts due to the spread of false information about vaccination, sometime by religious fundamentalists, in hard to reach areas of these countries. This does not stop the efforts to eradicate the virus, however.
At Kardinia Rotary Club we support the End Polio Now program through raising funds doing fun activities that support local events and activities and through direct donations.