Central NY Rotarians Launch Campaign To Eradicate Polio from the World
Rotary District 7150, encompassing 47 Rotary Clubs across Central New York, is continuing a three-year campaign to eradicate polio from the world. Polio, a crippling and often fatal disease no longer present in the U.S., still plagues some areas of the globe.
Because of its priority effort to vaccinate children wherever polio strikes, Rotary International this year received a $100 million matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to finish the job.
“Central New York Rotarians are committed to raising $50,000 a year for three years to help meet that $100 million challenge,” announced 2008-09 District Governor Larry Calabrese. “We’re joining Rotary districts around the world in this campaign to lower child mortality and make our world polio-free.”
The District Polio Campaign Chair, Mike Occhipinti, is a polio survivor himself. “Ninety nine percent of the world is polio-free, but it’s the last one percent that is the most difficult,” Occhipinti said. “India, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan are areas where outbreaks of polio still maim or kill children. Mobilizing vaccination teams, getting refrigerated vaccine to remote areas, and overcoming geographical, political, religious and cultural barriers are daunting challenges, both financially and operationally. That’s why,” he added, “Bill and Melinda Gates have given us $100 million and have asked us to raise another $100 million, and finally make the world polio-free.”
Occhipinti said his committee was raising some money at the district level and at the same time was asking each club to raise $1,000 a year for three years to help meet the district’s $150,000 commitment.
He explained that clubs
would be raising dollars in a variety of ways:
“Young people can make a difference by collecting coins in ‘Pennies for Polio’ canisters. We’d like to see this happen during ‘Make a Difference Week’, the last week in October. For every $1.20 that school children raise, “we’ll be able to provide vaccine for two children; we’ll be able to save two lives. For every $1,000 that corporate sponsors provide, “we’ll be able to provide vaccine for 833 children. So the people and companies of Central New York really can make a difference,” Occhipinti said.
Anyone interested in joining with Rotary to eradicate polio may contact a local Rotary Club or District Polio Chair Occhipinti at 315-337-2405.
Read the most recent news here on PPP Coordinator Dan Mooer's website.
Read the super news about the Gates Foundation & Rotary Foundation collaborative Polio eradication donations here!
The Rotary Foundation's PolioPlus Program
PolioPlus –the most ambitious program in Rotary's history, is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. For more than 20 years, Rotary has led the private sector in the global effort to rid the world of this crippling disease. Today, PolioPlus and its role in the initiative is recognized worldwide as a model of public-private cooperation in pursuit of a humanitarian goal.
Rotarians have mobilized by the hundreds of thousands to ensure that children are immunized against this crippling disease and that surveillance is strong, despite the poor infrastructure, extreme poverty, and civil strife of many countries. Since the PolioPlus Program’s inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received oral polio vaccine.
To date, 210 countries,
territories and areas around the world are polio free and 134 of these
have been certified. As of June 2007, Rotary has committed more
than $633 million to global polio eradication.
$23.7 million. (includes PolioPlus Partners grants)
“Rotary’s PolioPlus program is a shining example of the achievements made possible by cooperation between the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations.” - Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
PolioPlus Partners is a program that allows Rotarians to participate in the polio eradication effort by contributing to specific social mobilization and surveillance activities in polio-endemic countries. As of 30 June 2007, over 6,000 clubs in 502 districts have contributed to 470 PolioPlus Partners projects, supporting National Immunization Days and other polio eradication activities around the world.
What exactly is polio?
Help eradicate polio
If polio isn’t eradicated, the world will continue to live under the threat of the disease. More than 10 million children will be paralyzed in the next 40 years if the world fails to capitalize on its US$4 billion global investment in eradication.
Challenges to polio eradication
Health experts agree that these primary challenges must be overcome in order to reach the goal of polio eradication:
PolioPlus Partners Challenge
Progress – Polio Eradication IS Realistic: The technical feasibility of eradicating wild-type poliovirus was confirmed in October 1999 when the last case of paralytic polio due to wild poliovirus type 2 (1 of 3 types) was detected anywhere in the world. By 2002, the feasibility of eradication was reaffirmed by certification of eradication of all 3 wild poliovirus types in three of the six World Health Organization (WHO) Regions.1
The Case – Completing Polio Eradication: In 2006, only four countries still had wild-type poliovirus, limited to small geographic regions of Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. This war on polio will not be won until the last case of polio is gone.2 This must be done as quickly as possible.
PolioPlus: Rotary launched the PolioPlus program in 1985 and contributions to the PolioPlus Fund continue to support the most essential components of polio eradication activities in our partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and UNICEF. With Rotary’s community-based network worldwide, Rotary is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio.
PolioPlus Partners: In 1995, a sub-program of PolioPlus, the PolioPlus Partners program (PPP), was developed to allows individuals, Rotary clubs, and districts the opportunity to directly contribute to polio eradication projects submitted by fellow Rotarians in polio-endemic, importation, and high-risk countries through the PPP Open Projects List.
The Need – PolioPlus Partners in 2007-08: Contributions to PPP go directly to Rotarians conducting social mobilization and surveillance activities in the polio-endemic, importation, and high risk countries. Social mobilization is organized community activities designed to help make immunization activities successful. Rotarians play a critical role in these activities by using PPP contributions to purchase:
- Media and posters to communicate when and where the immunization
activities will occur.
These tools are provided through the PolioPlus Partners program. Additional funding of at least US$5 million will be needed to purchase these tools in 2007-08.
The Incentive – Matching Funds for PolioPlus Partners: Since the Polio Eradication Fundraising Campaign (PEFC) ended in 2005, fundraising for PPP, in addition to PolioPlus, remains a priority. The Trustees of The Rotary Foundation recognize the significant funding needs for PPP and will continue to match both cash and District Designated Funds (DDF) contributions US$.50 for every US$1.00; up to US $1 million in 2007-08. This matching opportunity is an incentive for individuals, clubs, and districts to make a contribution to PolioPlus Partners in 2007-08.
The 2007-08 PolioPlus Partners Challenge – What Can Rotarians Do? Funding for PolioPlus Partners is essential to help all Rotarians achieve the goal of a polio-free world. To help meet the significant and ongoing funding needs, we are extending a Challenge to all Rotarians, clubs, and districts to become 2007-08 PolioPlus Partners:
1. Asking for 100% participation from all Rotary districts to allocate a minimum of 10% of their available DDF.
2. Asking all Rotary clubs and districts, Interact and Rotaract clubs to have a club program for PolioPlus Partners by March 2008.
3. Requesting district leaders to encourage all clubs chartered after 1 July 2003 to consider making a club contribution, having a fundraiser, or making individual contributions to PolioPlus Partners.
4. Requesting zone, district, and club leaders to encourage new members after 1 July 2003 to contribute and become a part of Rotary’s number one goal of global polio eradication.
5. Encouraging all Rotarians that view PolioPlus as their primary Rotary interest to make another contribution to PolioPlus Partners.
With everyone’s continuing support, we shall demonstrate our resolve and achieve the final goal of a polio-free world for all the worlds’ children.
A Rotarian immunizes a child against polio. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo by Rotary Images.
Decades ago, polio outbreaks were a constant
threat around the world. After the introduction of polio vaccines
by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin and a steadfast immunization effort,
these outbreaks became part of history in most of the world.
Contribute to stopping polio
The biggest obstacles to eradicating polio are the underfunding of the global initiative and insufficient political commitment from the remaining polio-affected countries. Rotary International believes the primary source for additional funds can and should be governments of polio-free industrialized countries. Your contribution to Polio will help ensure that we keep doing our part to get the job done.
Contribute to PolioPlus Partners
PolioPlus Partners allows individuals, Rotary clubs, and districts to support urgent social mobilization and surveillance projects submitted by Rotarians in polio-endemic, importation, and high-risk countries. In 2006-07, the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation allocated US$1 million to match, on a first-come, first-served basis, cash contributions to PolioPlus Partners at a level of US$0.50 for each $1 contributed.
Contribute to the PolioPlus Fund
The PolioPlus Fund provides global-level funds through Trustee-reviewed grants to the initiative based on strategic priorities.
What your gift can do
*All contributions to PolioPlus and PolioPlus Partners are eligible for Paul Harris Fellow Recognition.
Give through Rotary
Friends of Rotary are welcome to add their support to Rotary’s number-one goal. Contribute to stopping polio today.
Four key strategies for stopping poliovirus transmission:
Generous contributions to PolioPlus help fund these activities and bring us closer to polio eradication. Contribute to stopping polio today.
Progress in curbing type 1 poliovirus continues - Wide-scale use of monovalent oral polio vaccine type 1 (mOPV1) continues to have a significant impact on curbing transmission of this particular virus serotype. Progress in curbing type 1 poliovirus continues. From www.polioeradication.org - 29 August 2007
The exhibit was transferred from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in August, to be permanently displayed at the Warm Springs Institute, where former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought treatment for polio. Call the Warm Springs Institute at 706-655-5666 for more information.
to Contribute & Receive Paul Harris Award
Through Foundation grants and programs, Rotarians and other contributors can help change the world. They can finance a well for a village that lacks clean water, improve the environment, or provide scholarships to educate the next generation. The grants and programs available to Rotarians allow them to realize Rotary’s humanitarian mission throughout the world, including its number-one goal of eradicating polio.
View 2000-2005 District Polio News
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