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Rotary's part in the fight to eradicate Polio


In December 2011 the Rotary Club of Hope Valley made a further donation (£1,460) to Rotary International's Polio Plus - $200,000,000 polio eradication project.


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Goodbye to all that

 

IT IS a year since the last case of polio was diagnosed in India. That is not enough to pronounce the country polio-free—three clear years are the conventional period required for that to happen. But it is a good start. And if India really is clear, then what was once a global scourge will now be endemic to a mere three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. The number of people infected, meanwhile, has dropped from 350,000 in 1988 to 650 last year.

All this is in large part thanks to the efforts of Rotary International. In 1985, after a successful pilot study in the Philippines, this businessmen’s club cum global charity announced a plan to eradicate polio by vaccinating every child under five at risk of catching it. The estimate then was that it would cost $120m. Some $800m of Rotary money later (plus a lot from other sources), the virus is still out there, but its remaining hidey-holes tell their own story: where civil disorder is rife, medicine is hard.

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