Administration of Oral Polio vaccine (OPV). FILPHOTO | NMG
Evangelism is not easy, but someone has to do it. As the good book says, faith is the subject of things that are hoping for, the evidence of things not seen and that is why our ministers occupy the highest hills, city gates or television channels with the top clock ratings and remind the congregation that God sees.
The same applies to polio eradication and Rotary’s evangelical role aimed at making the world sing from the same lyman sheet. The largest funds are occupied from countries that have not seen polio for decades and the continued global advocacy is necessary to keep faith and the continued commitment to wipe the disease from the face of the earth.
October 24th is World Polio Day when we celebrate the birthday of Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, confirming our commitment to ending polio. Rotary clubs around the world find creative ways to demonstrate this, including fundraiser gathering, public awareness raising awareness, or organizing seminars that address the progress we make in combating the disease.
988, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was formed a total of $ 16 billion has been increased and Rotary’s contribution has exceeded 1.8 billion dollars. Rotarians are committed to raising at least $ 50 million each year in the final press, as the world focuses on the three remaining endemic countries, namely Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
As said, the gospel did not say easily, so let’s take a brief look back in history to understand how all this began. In the 1970s, a Rotarian in the Philippines had a strong belief that it was possible to eradicate polio based on scientific data and the success of eradicating piglets, the first disease to be eradicated in human history.
This Rotarian went to his Rotary Club and told them he would finish polio and asked them if they would join him on the trip.
The club agreed and after a while they came to the other clubs in the Philippines and told them that they intended to eradicate polio and asked if they would join them in this initiative.
Then, the Rotarians of the Philippines said the Rotarians in Haiti, Bolivia, Morocco, Sierra Leone and Cambodia wanted to eradicate polio and asked these countries to make their first five-year commitment to this, as agreed.
It was after the six countries told Rotary International they would finish polio and asked the Rotary club’s global organization if they were prepared to join them in this effort, as they said yes. In 1985 Rotary International appointed the first police commission and promised $ 120 million that year to fund the initiative.
Rotary International told the UN, CDC and WHO that they would take down polio and asked the Global Development Agency if they would join them to complete the task, and then GPEI was born.
Everything began with a strong belief that this was possible and that vision continues to drive us as we enter the final stage of the journey. It’s easy to become part of this story and anyone can make a donation of any size to the GPEI efforts by going to www.endpolionow.org and clicking on “donate”.