When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we remain committed to the end.
With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million. Rotary has contributed more than $2.2 billion to ending polio since 1985.
Visit endpolio.org to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio.
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In October 2020, Dr. Raul Andino, a virologist and professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UCSF, spoke to the Rotary Club of Castro Valley.  Dr. Andino is noted for leading a team of researchers that developed the first new oral polio vaccine in 50 years. He completed his MS in Biology in 1980 and his PhD in Chemistry in 1986, both at the University of Buenos Aires. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and then at the Rockefeller University with Nobel laureate David Baltimore. He then joined the UCSF faculty.  Watch his presentation HERE.