In a joint meeting with the international Rotary Club Amstelveen, Mr. Michel Zaffran gave us a presentation about the state of the Polio Eradication Programme which has been carried out by Rotary International in cooperation with WHO, CDC, Unicef and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This vaccination campaign began in 1985, when 300,000 Polio cases were reported in 125 different countries throughout the world.
Through coordinated efforts the virus has been eradicated in 5 out of 6 regions in the world. Only a very small number of cases remain : 140 in 2020, 5 in 2021, 3 in 2022 reported only in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The current target is for there to be no more cases at all by 2023 ! In order to prevent the risk of the virus from mutating and spreading again, the vaccinations have to be continued for some more years.
Since the beginning of the campaign, 3 billion children have been vaccinated, which has prevented 19 million children from being paralyzed and saved 1.5 million lives. This is an achievement of which we, as Rotarians, can be really proud. #endpolio