Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Push for eradication of polio could be the most difficult

FALLBROOK – Eradicating polio is a top Rotary priority which requires the immunization of every child under 5 in the world. As a result of the efforts of Rotary and its global partners, more than two billion children have been immunized against polio since 1985.

As part of the Rotary Foundation’s Polio Plus program, more than 1.2 million Rotary volunteers from around the world have contributed their time and more than $800 million to the success of polio eradication efforts.

Rotary is the key private-sector partner in the international health effort. Public sector partners include the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $355 million to Rotary International in the global effort to eradicate polio, bringing the total committed by Rotary and the Gates Foundation to $555 million. In response to the Gates Foundation grant, Rotary International’s matching effort, which is called “Rotary’s $200 Million Challenge” will raise $200 million in matching funds, and must be completed by June 30, 2012.

The money directly supports immunization campaigns in developing countries, where polio continues to infect and paralyze children, robbing them of their futures and compounding the hardships faced by their families. Drops of the oral polio vaccine costs 60 cents and will protect a child from polio for life.

The four countries where the wild poliovirus epidemics persist are Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The Rotary Club of Fallbrook has contributed Foundation dollars to the polio efforts and individuals have contributed their time in places such as Africa and India.

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