Bill Gates is on the current cover of Rotarian Magazine and rightfully so.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged to match 2:1 Rotary International’s commitment of $50 million dollars per year for the next three years totaling $450 million.
All of this money we’ve pledged is to kill an enemy we’ve been chasing for decades. One we’ve got cornered and in our sights.
The statistics of new polio cases is exciting to see. As of this week (September 20th), according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), only 10 new cases of wild poliovirus (WPV) and 49 Vaccine-derived Poliovirus (cVDPV) cases have been reported globally this year. These WPV cases were in endemic countries while the cVDPV vases were in non-endemic countries.
Last year at this time we had 24 new WPV cases reported and 3cVDPV. The total for 2016 was 37 WPV and five cVDPV cases globally. There was no mention of why they thought there was such an increase in the cVDPV cases. That would be interesting to learn why there was such an up shoot in numbers in the last year.
When you breakdown by country where these reports of new cases are occurring, Afghanistan (6) and Pakistan (4) for the WPV. Nine of the 49 Vaccine Derived Polio Virus cases were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the rest were the Syrian Arab Republic.
This October 24th is World Polio Day. Leaders from across our land and Rotary Clubs around the world will pledge to eradicate this enemy through Polio Plus. Launched in 1985 by Rotary, this effort is overseen by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. – Along with Rotary, that includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its mission: to immunize all the children of the world against polio.
For those who like to throw money at a cause – this one is it. I can’t avoid the cliche – there is light at the end of this tunnel. Rotary is there in the hills of small countries, helping to smooth the way for healthcare workers and politicians to realize they both can meet the needs of the people by letting them into their villages to get the vaccinations they need.
Just like many of us last year said we never thought we’d live to see the day when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, we are on the cusp of seeing the actual eradication Polio.
We really are ‘thisclose’….