In a major breakthrough in the world Polio Eradication campaign, it was announced on Friday that Nigeria has now gone ONE YEAR with NO new cases of the wild poliovirus!

Making the announcement, Rotary International senior leaders – President Ravi Ravindran and The Rotary Foundation Chairman Ray Klinginsmith – pointed out that it was only a decade ago that polio struck 12,631 people in Africa – three quarters of all cases in the world.

President Ravindran and Chairman Klinginsmith congratulated Rotarians around the world who have now donated $688.5 million to fight polio throughout Africa, including more than $200 million in Nigeria.

Official sources state that with the infrastructure put in place by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Nigeria not only reduced its polio caseload by 90% in 2014, but also thwarted the world’s most lethal Ebola outbreak to day in only 90 days – a response faster than even the USA, and rightly praised by the World Health Organisation as ‘world class’.

If the stringent World Health Organisation testing criteria are met, Nigeria could be removed from the list of polio-endemic countries in September this year, leaving just Pakistan and Afghanistan as the only two remaining polio-endemic countries.

District 9685 Rotary Foundation Chairman PDG Tony Castley added his congratulations to those of our world leaders and urged District TRF Chairman and Club Presidents not to take the situation for granted.

“We must continue to intensify our fund raising efforts and increase public awareness that Rotary and its global partners are winning the war against Polio!

“Protecting progress achieved to date means enhancing surveillance, routine immunisation, and community engagement in Nigeria and other countries where transmission has been stopped,” he said.

Chairman Tony urged his TRF Chairman to take advantage of this excellent news and double their efforts with District clubs leading into and during TRF month in November.

“We need to encourage ALL Rotarians to take an interest in the campaign and share the good news with their communities and neighbourhoods.  Visit www.endpolio.org to download a toolkit of materials to help promote our Polio Eradication campaign,” he added.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT DISTRICT 9685 Public Relations/Polio Chairman, PDG Bob Aitken – 0417 722 190; or email bob@bobaitkenmedia.com.au