Guest Speaker: David Anderson
David gave all an update on Polio. What causes it, what was done originally and what needs to happen next. Polio is an intestinal virus, usually caused by unsanitary conditions, causing irreversible paralysis to those particularly aged 5 years and under. Originally, Rotarians stood alone when it came to founding a plight to end Polio. It wasn’t long before other organisations wanted to come on board and assist in this initiative. Some of the organisations that support this day are the World Heath Organisation, UNICEF, The Melinda Gates Foundation and governments around the world.
Between 1988 until 2018, 350,000 people worldwide have been vaccinated. Approximately 1000 per day. Polio is now currently reported in 3 countries. Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As of 2018, there are 20 known cases. It has dropped from 74 cases in 2015, to 20 cases in 2018. In 2014, India was declared Polio Free. What still needs to be done is; 450 million children need to be vaccinated every year in up to 60 countries. This requires 150,000 workers in the field to maintain the education and the monitoring of the program. 3 years must pass without any reported cases of the disease to be officially declared eradicated.
We need to raise awareness in our community. There have been outbreaks in New Guinea, which is just a plane ride away from the Western World. We can all help by making sure we contribute and donate to help to end this disease.