Rotary’s biggest event
of the year starts now
Drop to Zero: A Major Global Polio Event to be Held at the Rotary
On June 12, 2017, global leaders will come together
at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, to pledge
additional resources and reaffirm their commitment to achieving
a polio-free world.
Last year, a record low number of children contracted
polio – just 37 in three countries. This is a dramatic reduction
from just three decades ago, when 40 children were paralyzed by
polio every hour. Now, the world has the best opportunity to make
polio only the second human disease ever eradicated.
In order to finish the job, the polio program
needs an additional US$1.5 billion. With this funding, health
workers will be able to reach hundreds of millions of children
every year until certification with polio vaccines, as well as
provide other lifesaving vaccines and essential health services.
This funding will also support all countries in keeping up rigorous
disease surveillance networks so they can closely track the poliovirus
and ensure it doesn’t gain a foothold.
At an event titled “Drop to Zero”
on June 12, global leaders will recommit to the importance of
a polio-free world and celebrate the incredible progress made
so far. Following this event, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation, will deliver a keynote presentation in
the plenary session to a delegation of more than 20,000 Rotarians
recognizing the efforts of all those, including Rotarians, who
have brought the world to the brink of eradication. He will be
joined on stage by government leaders and other high-profile participants,
including polio survivor Minda Dentler and John Germ, president
of Rotary International.
Rotary has been a global leader in the effort
to eradicate polio since 1985 when it launched its PolioPlus program.
It is also a spearheading partner of the Global Polio Eradication
Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership that also
includes the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda
The continued support from the global community
has driven significant progress toward eradication, and will remain
essential to getting to zero cases. This is the time to double-down
so we can mark one of the greatest public health achievements
in history – a polio-free life for every child now and for
generations to come.
- End Polio Now