PolioPlus, the most ambitious program in Rotary’s history, is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. For more than 29 years, Rotary has led the private sector in the global effort to rid the world of this crippling disease. Today, PolioPlus and its role in the initiative is recognized worldwide as a model of public-private cooperation in pursuit of a humanitarian goal.
Learn more about PolioPlus Partners, which helps Rotary clubs and districts in polio-free countries make a direct contribution to their Rotarian colleagues’ efforts in the four polio-endemic countries and nearby regions.
“Rotary’s PolioPlus program is a shining example of the achievements made possible by cooperation between the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations.”
– Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Decades ago polio outbreaks were a constant threat around the world. After the introduction of polio vaccines by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin and a steadfast immunization effort, these outbreaks became part of history in most of the world.
Yet many still live under the threat of polio, which is why Rotary and its global partners are committed to reaching every child with the vaccine and ending this disease worldwide.
Major gains have been made in the global fight against polio:
- In the 1980s, 1,000 children were infected by the disease every day in 125 countries. Today, polio cases have declined by 99 percent, with fewer than a few hundred cases reported in 2012.
- More than two billion children have been immunized, five million have been spared disability, and over 250,000 deaths from polio have been prevented.