OKLAHOMA CITY (October 20, 2015) –To raise awareness and critically-needed funds to fight the crippling disease polio, Rotary Club 29 is encouraging its members and friends to participate in the live global update on World Polio Day, October 23, starting at 5:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time.
Guests at the event streaming from New York City will include Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, celebrity ambassadors, polio survivors, and others.
This update comes at an important time in the fight to eradicate polio, which would be only the second human disease to be eradicated. Case numbers of the disease have never been lower, and only three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus.
“Participating in the livestream event on World Polio Day is a great way for Oklahomans to join the global fight to end polio, which has been a long-term goal of Rotary,” said Tim Strange, president of Oklahoma City’s Rotary Club 29.
Rotary, a humanitarian service organization with nearly 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, made polio eradication its top priority in 1985. Rotary has since contributed $1.2 billion, and its members have logged countless volunteer hours to help immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries.
Overall, remarkable progress has been achieved in the fight against polio. Since 1988, the number of polio cases has been reduced from 350,000 a year to fewer than 700 cases in 2011. The Americas were declared free from polio in 1994, the Western Pacific region in 2000, and Europe in 2002.
A highly infectious disease, polio still strikes children mainly under the age of five in parts of Africa and South Asia. Polio can cause paralysis and sometimes death. There is no cure for polio, but for as little as 60 cents worth of oral vaccine, a child can be protected from the disease for life.
To livestream the event, visit www.endpolio.org.