|END POLIO NOW
|Editor: Jill Robinson
||In 1988, Rotary International committed to the eradication of polio. At that time, 350,000 children contracted the disease annually. Since then, Rotarians worldwide have galvanized governments, provided hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours and raised some $600 million to make eradication a reality.
|In the past 10 years Rotarians in Alaska and the Yukon
Territory have contributed $645,000 to achieve the dream of a
polio-free world. They have traveled to places such as India and
Nigeria to help the local people with national immunization days.
There are currently less than 2,000 cases of polio each year.
Eradication is within reach. The technology and volunteers are in
place. What is urgently needed is funding. To bridge the financial gap,
the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made a $355 million challenge grant
to Rotary International. Rotarians have agreed to match that with $200
Million within three years, providing $555 Million through this
Now the Alaska/Yukon Rotarians are partnering with
the 2009 Iditarod to reach out to communities to help raise awareness
and money. Our spokesman, four-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser,
will help spread the word. When we are successful, no child will be
stricken by this crippling disease again, and we will save billions of
dollars as well. To find out more about polio eradication, or to donate
go to www.rotary.org/endpolio.