GLOBAL POLIO ERADICATION
In the early 1980’s, Rotary International declared that it could eradicate polio from the globe. With a worldwide membership of more than one million, it was confident that the enormous task would be completed. Partnerships were forged with organisations like UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.
The Polio Plus programme was launched in 1985 and the fundraising began. During that year the Rotary Club of Maidenhead was invited by Father Flanagan to speak at the services one Sunday. Special collections raised more than £700 for the appeal. With worldwide support, over US$752 million has been donated for global polio eradication. Hundreds of thousands of Rotarians, their families and supporters have, over the years, administered the oral vaccine to more than 2 billion children.
The result has been a slow but steady reduction in the number of new cases notified. In 1985 there were 350 000 new cases. Since then, there has been a 99% reduction. In 2010 there were only 908. Of these, 458 were reported from the previously polio-free Tajikistan. The end is in sight - the day when the World can certify that it is finally free of the scourge of polio.
This could not have been achieved without the wonderful generosity of people like yourselves.
The Rotary Club of Maidenhead
Sunday Missal: Page 391 † New Edition: Page 497
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help.