When was polio last in Europe? If you guessed 2002, the year the region was certified polio-free, you’re wrong.
The last time polio affected a child in Europe was 2015. Two Ukrainian children were diagnosed with paralytic polio, and that likely means that many more were infected and didn’t show symptoms. At least one Western news outlet deemed the outbreak “crazy” — but the reality is that no place on Earth is safe from polio until the disease is eradicated everywhere.
Ukraine had fully vaccinated only 50 percent of its children against polio, and low immunization rates are a recipe for an outbreak. In this case, a rare mutation in the weakened strain used in the oral polio vaccine was able to spread because so many children had not been vaccinated. To stop it from progressing, the country needed to administer 6 million vaccines through an emergency program.
“Rotary was there at the beginning of the global effort to eradicate polio,” says International PolioPlus Committee Chair Michael K. McGovern. “It would be unfortunate if Rotary isn’t there at the finish line. We’ve done too much; we’ve made too much progress to walk away before we finish.”
The Games of Weatherford will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 11:30am - 1:00pm at Love Street Park in Weatherford. All Rotary members are encouraged to participate in at least one "Skill" event and may also participate in the Tug of War final event in competition with the Noon Lions Club.
The "Skill" events are horseshoes, basketball (HORSE or Free Throws), washers, bean bag toss, dominos, and cards.
Contact Peggy Hutton to sign up for your event.
A new book in the field of public health highlights Rotary’s role in the global effort to wipe out polio, and places it in the context of humanity’s relentless struggle to contain the world’s epidemics.
In “The Health of Nations: The Campaign to End Polio and Eradicate Epidemic Diseases” (Oneworld Publications), British journalist and Sunday Times best-selling author Karen Bartlett surveys the global landscape of epidemics past, present, and future. Beginning with the 1980 eradication of smallpox, she guides us through more timely threats such as the Ebola and Zika viruses, and looks ahead to a future without malaria, measles, or polio.
Rotarian builds his own iron lung replica to teach a new generation about polio.
Dispatched to Ghana with a fellow British Rotarian to scout club service opportunities, Roger Frank hadn’t planned their visit to coincide with National Immunization Days, but the pair – Frank and Dr. Carl Hallam – jumped, unhesitating, into the thick of inoculations. During a four-day stretch in October 2015, nearly 2,000 children in the area were protected from poliomyelitis. The effort galvanized Frank, who brainstormed for a way to do even more at home: How could he promote polio eradication when few of his countrymen gave much thought to the scourge?
Rotary International President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley made the case on Monday that protecting the environment and curbing climate change are essential to Rotary’s goal of sustainable service.
Riseley, a member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, unveiled the 2017-18 presidential theme, Rotary: Making a Difference, to incoming district governors at Rotary’s International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.