We Are On The Verge Of Making History
By Carl M. Good III, PhD
Success! There are three distinct strains of the polio virus. As seen below, type 2 has been declared eliminated from the wild!  Let's finish off strains 1 and 3! We are in the end game. Saturday, October 24 is World Polio Day.
To find a World Polio Day Toolkit and help win that end game, click here. For a Rotary Polio fact sheet, click here.
We are on the verge of making history. In 1985, with the launch of its flagship PolioPlus program, Rotary International became the visionary organization to take on the ambitious goal to end polio worldwide.
At that time, polio crippled more than 350,000 children per year in 125 countries. Over the next 30 years, we mobilized other partners, governments, and communities to immunize the world’s children against polio. We kept our promise to work toward eradicating this disease, and the leadership, commitment, and generosity of Rotary members has brought the world 99.9 percent of the way there.
Today, only Afghanistan, and Nigeria and Pakistan remain polio-endemic and, in 2014, there were fewer than 360 polio cases in the world. Nigeria has gone more than one year without a case, and if the progress continues, the country could be removed from the endemic list later this year.
But we aren’t done yet. With every inch we gain against polio, we must redouble our efforts to protect that progress, and to eliminate polio from its final hideouts in some of the hardest-to reach parts of the world. Why? No child should be crippled or die from a disease that is completely preventable. And the lessons we’ve learned from fighting polio — and the health infrastructure created to do so — pave the way for other lifesaving health interventions.
This is a true legacy Rotary can be proud to leave for future generations.
Carl M. Good III, PhD, chair of District 7910's Polio Committee, may be reached at carlgood@yahoo.com.