Letter: Rotary pitches in to fight polio



On Sept. 10, Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors spent four hours in red shirts “Panhandling for Polio” around our county.

Thanks to the community’s generosity, $3,650 was collected to help eradicate polio, which has long been gone in the U.S. but still exists in the world.

In one of the largest humanitarian efforts ever, Rotary International has been working tirelessly since 1985 to eliminate this disease that especially targets young children.

Rotary and our partners, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have now eliminated 99.9 percent of the disease. Rotarians have contributed more than $900 million, and more than 2 billion children have been immunized, many by Rotarians volunteering to administer polio drops in remote, impoverished countries.

However, the world is not polio-free yet — the disease is still endemic in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Until it is l00 percent eradicated, the virus can mutate and surge again around the world. Rotarians worldwide are committed to finishing the job we started.

As the assistant governor of Rotary District 5100 — Clark County Region, thanks to all who contributed to this effort. We are truly “this close” to making sure no child suffers or dies from this crippling disease again. Learn more at www.rotary.org/endpolio.

Sue Coates