Posted on Oct 17, 2018



Whitnall Park Rotary Club partnered with Culver’s of Hales Corners (corner of Hway 100 & Forest Home Ave) on Wednesday, October 24 (World Polio Day / “End Polio Now”) to raise money for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Culver’s contributed 10% of WPRC pre-tax purchases toward the effort. The total amount raised was $176.20 and will be sent to RI District 6270, which in turn will turn over all money raised in District 6270 to The Rotary Foundation to assist in polio eradication. Way to go, WPRC members and friends!!!

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. Use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin, led to the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988.

In 1988, when Rotary and its partners founded the GPEI, the paralyzing disease affected 350,000 children. Our collaboration with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and later the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, local health workers, and national governments has helped reduce the number to just 18 cases of wild poliovirus this year. The annual number of polio cases has fallen from 350,000 in 1988 to 416 in 2013, and 222 so far this year, a remarkable decrease of more than 99 percent. UNICEF estimates that 10 million people would have otherwise been infected, while 1.5 million lives have been saved.

Rotary has contributed more than $1.2 billion to polio eradication since taking on the disease in 1979. That amount got a significant boost after Rotary announced it will provide an additional $44.7 million toward the polio fight.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Polio can be prevented through immunization. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life. The strategy to eradicate polio is therefore based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free.