PHILIPSBURG:---The Rotary Club of St. Maarten Mid Isle has been continuing the fight to ‘End Polio Now’ with three fundraisers for the Rotary Year 2017-2018.
For their second fundraiser of the Rotary Year, Mid Isle teamed up with Alex n’Ani on August 26th at their Front Street branch for ‘A Charmed by Charity’ event. At this event, Alex n’Ani donated 15 pct of that days’ taking to Mid Isle toward the ‘End Polio Now’ funds. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match the funds raised with a 2:1 match. President Anjali Manek was on hand to collect the check from Ritika Chugani. This was our second fundraising event for Polio with Alex n’Ani.
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The polio virus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable but completely vaccine-preventable.
In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion to the effort.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, formed in 1988, is a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and governments of the world. Rotary’s focus is advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and awareness-building.
Today, there are only two countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. The polio cases remaining are the most difficult to prevent, due to factors including geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. Until polio is eradicated, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks.
Rotary will raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These funds help to provide much-needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. Governments, corporations and private individuals all play a crucial role in funding.
More than one million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio. Every year, hundreds of Rotary members work side-by-side with health workers to vaccinate children in polio-affected countries. Rotary Members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute mass communication tools to reach people in areas isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. Rotary members also recruit fellow volunteers, assist with transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support.