Axminster Rotarians push to eradicate polio

  Posted: 21.10.21 at 12:28 by Philip Evans

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Axminster Rotarians were out in force this morning (Thursday) in a bid to assist the worldwide effort to eradicate polio.

Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million

The Axminster Rotarians manned a stall at the weekly street market, running a virtual treasure hunt, and seeking donations from shoppers in a bid to end this disease for ever.

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Great progress to combat the disease has been made since then.

Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 per cent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus - Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A Rotarian spokesman said: “With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine.

"Without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk."

Rotary has contributed more than $2.2 billion to ending polio since 1985 from clubs like Axminster all over the world, through the support of their local communities.

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