SPEAKER

 

Jay Jones introduced the speaker, Rod Daniels of the Mesa West Rotary Club. Rod is the District Polio Fund Chair. Rod was also the five-time president of the Chandler North Rotary Club, until that club melded into the Mesa West Club this past January. His passion in Rotary is Foundation; specifically, Polio. About a year ago, Rod’s extensive Rotary resumé grew to include the position of District 5510 Polio Program Chair.

 

Polio has been around for a very long time. “It is a horrible disease, but with our partners, we will eradicate polio from the face of our earth.” Who are the partners in the fight against polio?

 

  • The Manager: World Health Organization (WHO) – coordinate the management, administration, technical and operational support

  • The Virus Hunter: Center for Disease Control (CDC) – investigate reports of the outbreak of polio and identify the strain

  • The Immunizer: UNICEF – distribute and administer vaccinations

  • The Multipliers: Bill and Melinda Gates – donating 2 for 1 up to $35 million annually through 2018

  • The Foot Soldiers: Local Health Workers – go door to door, speaking to mothers and convincing them of the importance of polio vaccinations

  • The Gatekeepers: National governments

  • The Advocate: Rotary International; if it weren’t for Rotary’s business acumen, people skills, fundraising ability, and constant drive, the fight to end polio would not have come so far

 

In 2013, an “End Game Strategic Plan to End Polio” was drafted. The strategy includes:

  • Polio detection and interruption

  • Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)

  • Certification

  • Legacy Planning

 

There are three types of polio. Type 2 has been eradicated; type 3 “we’re pretty sure” has been eradicated; and that leaves type 1. Southeast Asia was certified as polio-free in March, 2014, leaving two of the six regions yet to go. (Certification is established by region, rather than by country.) No new cases had been reported in more than a year, until two outbreaks appeared in the Ukraine 16 days ago. “Reason: they stopped giving the vaccine. We’ve kicked polio! But they stopped giving the vaccine, someone came in with a circulating virus, and there were two outbreaks as a result. The CDC jumped in, as per the strategic plan, and they stopped it.”

 

In Pakistan, there were 230 new cases in 2014 between January and October. In that same time span this year, there have been 38 new cases. “We’re closing in,” but efforts cannot stop because we’re getting close. Polio strikes children under age 5, causing paralysis and sometimes death. If the eradication campaign were to stop right now, it is estimated that by 2022 – just seven years - 200,000 children would be afflicted annually due to circulating viruses.

 

Short of going to Pakistan or Afghanistan to distribute vaccines, what can you do?

  • Advocate

  • Fundraise

  • Educate

 

World Polio Day is October 24, but this year, we are celebrating World Polio Week. Through October 24, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match donations 2:1.

 

For more information, go to:

  • Global Polio Eradication Initiative – PolioEradication.org

  • End Polio Now – EndPolio.org

 

Rotary Club Central is also an easy resource to check on your own contributions, what Rotary is doing, what your club is doing, and numerous links that you can follow to gain more information.