The Rotary Club of Leicester Novus, like clubs around the world, are celebrating the news released today that the World Health Organization’s Africa region has officially been certified wild polio-free.
When, 30 years ago, Rotarians pledged to rid the world of polio, there were 355,000 new cases in 125 countries across the world every year.
By raising funds to buy billions of doses of vaccines and immunising generations of children, Rotary members and others have cut the number of new infections by 99 per cent.
Like most Rotary clubs around the world, Novus Rotary has raised thousands of pounds. Their most high-profile effort was a meal to celebrate the club’s 10th anniversary. At that celebration, their principal guest was the then President of Rotary In Great Britain and Ireland, Debbie Hodge. You can read about that on this page on our website https://rotary-leicesternovus.org/news-2019/10th-birthday-celebration-makes-1300
Most recently, Novus took part in World Polio Day last October 24. You can read about that here https://rotary-leicesternovus.org/news-2019/great-news-on-world-polio-day
The certification comes four years after Nigeria, the last polio-endemic country in Africa, recorded its final case of wild polio and now means of the WHO’s six regions, five of those – accounting for 90% of the world’s population – are free from polio.
Club president Sarita Shah welcomed the news by saying: “This is a terrific landmark in the world’s battle to eradicate polio. Although it has been many years since polio has been present in the UK and Ireland, we are proud to have contributed to the global efforts to eliminate the disease for good.”
“We remain committed to making the final, challenging steps towards making a polio free world a reality.”
“If we don’t finish the job, it is estimated that, within 10 years, as many as 200,000 children annually all over the world could succumb to polio, including here in the UK. The virus can literally be a plane ride away so vaccination is so important.”
There are still a few cases of wild polio in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Sarita said: “I have made support for the End Polio Now campaign one of the club’s priorities for my year and, of course, we will be focusing our efforts around World Polio Day on October 24, 2020. Anyone who would like us to get even closer to ending this dreadful disease can do so by clicking on the Contact Us tab at the top left of this page.”
Last edited: 22:50 on Tuesday, 25.08.2020