Posted by Marianna Zeidler on Aug 10, 2022
(Click on the image to access Michael's complete presentation)
Past Rotary International Vice President and current Chair of the International End Polio Now Committee, Michael McGovern gave us an update on Rotary’s End Polio efforts and challenges. Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.  The eradication of polio is Rotary’s longest standing and most significant effort. Along with our partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion ... Pakistan and Afghanistan had been the two countries where Polio immunizations were not quite possible.  Unfortunately, an increase number of cases have been recently detected; four cases in Mozambique … even when Africa was declared polio free in 2020.  Now, the first U.S. case of polio in nearly a decade has been confirmed in an unvaccinated individual in Rockland County, N.Y.  Polio is a very contagious, life-threatening viral disease that causes permanent paralysis in people who are not fully vaccinated in about 5 out of every 1,000 cases. Most of the U.S. population has protection against the disease because they were vaccinated during childhood. But in areas with low vaccination coverage, such as the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, people who are not vaccinated are at high risk. There is no treatment for polio, but vaccination prevents the disease.  State health officials on Monday confirmed that Rockland County's polio case is genetically linked to samples found in wastewater around Jerusalem and in samples taken in London.  The person with polio in Rockland County had never been vaccinated against the virus.  Mike stated that the optimism that Rotarians show, brings hope.  The battle continues and funds should continue to be raised to match the challenge.  Help from the Gates Foundation, private organizations and individual advocates, make the promotion of vaccines and immunization campaigns possible.   Read more:   ∙