Polio PlusPolioPlus, the most ambitious program in Rotary’s history, is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. For more than 20 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.
In addition to providing financial and volunteer support, Rotary works to urge support from other public and private sector partners. This includes the campaign to End Polio Now, inspired by the extraordinary challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Since PolioPlus began in 1985, Rotary’s vast network of 1.2 million members has contributed money, volunteer time, and networking expertise to the polio eradication effort.
Rotary’s financial contributions to the global polio eradication effort will reach nearly US$1.2 billion by the time the world is certified polio-free.
Rotary’s leadership, beginning in 1985, inspired the World Health Assembly to pass a resolution to eradicate polio, which paved the way for the formation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988.
Thousands of Rotarians around the world have volunteered during National Immunization Days to immunize children.
The PolioPlus program helps Rotary fund operational costs, such as transportation, vaccine delivery, social mobilization, and training of health workers, and support surveillance activities. Read more about what happens before, during, and after a National Immunization Day (NID).
Rotarians work to encourage both donor and polio-affected governments to commit the political and financial resources needed to eradicate polio.
Polio Plus Partners
Through its PolioPlus program, established in 1985, more than one million Rotary club members have volunteered their time and personal resources to protect more than two billion children in 122 countries from polio. To date, the organization has contributed more than US$700 million -- a figure that will rise to more than $850 million by the time the world is certified free from polio. Rotary club members, known as Rotarians, also provide valuable support in the field during National Immunization Days and work diligently to secure essential political and financial support from both polio-free and polio affected governments.
World Health Organization
WHO, through its headquarters, regional and country offices, provides the overall technical direction and strategic planning for the management and coordination of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Atlanta-based CDC deploys epidemiologists, public health experts, and scientists to WHO and UNICEF. CDC also works as the "viral detective" of the four partners, using its state-of-the-art virological surveillance expertise (genetic fingerprinting) to investigate outbreaks of polio, identify the strain of poliovirus
involved and pinpoint its exact geographical origin.
UNICEF procures and distributes polio vaccines for routine and supplementary immunizations. UNICEF participates, along with WHO, in the implementation of intensified National Immunization Days and Subnational Immunization Days, as well as mop-up campaigns at the country level.