Posted by Sharon Schendel on Oct 27, 2019
Rotary's efforts to eradicate polio (that's the atomic structure of the polio virus to the left)
Forty years ago, Rotary International began in earnest its campaign to eradicate polio and in 1985 launched PolioPlus to provide polio vaccines and disease surveillance to children across the world. In 1988, Rotary was the leading partner in the formation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a global consortium that brings together efforts of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the last 30 years, the incidence of polio decreased by 99.9%, from around 350,000 case to just 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018. 
On World Polio Day 2019, wild polio virus Type 3 (WPV3) was declared to be eradicated. There are three immunologically distinct wild polio types, 1, 2 and 3.  Although the disease caused these three virus types is similar, the immune system responds differently to each type, so each must be eradicated.  Only wild polio virus 1 remains, and only in two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. 
This past summer, Rotary International pledged to fund $100 million in grants to make the final push to eradicate this disease. In particular, funding will focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan, where children remain vulnerable to infection. 
Past District Governor Marty Peters had the idea in 1998 of printing a bumper sticker to raise awareness about Rotary’s efforts against polio.  Some 400,000 have since been sold, with all funds going to the PolioPlus fund. Marty continues to dispatch bumper stickers to those who request them through our website.