Posted on May 13, 2019

Letter from Linda Robertson,
Hi Everyone 
 
Today as I was preparing to send an End Polio Now update to all of the districts in Zone 24 W, I received an e-mail from Mike McGovern, Rotary's International Polio Plus Chair.  He was sharing the disturbing news that in the last two weeks four polio workers were killed in Pakistan and a propaganda program against polio vaccinations in that country has created hysteria that led to tens of thousands of children needlessly going to hospital.  There are news stories circulating regarding the current polio eradication efforts in Pakistan and Rotary and its partners are doing all that is humanly possible to address the many situations. If you have any further questions about the current situation please contact me as End Polio Now Coordinators are kept well informed.
 
Mike also shared that three new cases of wild polio virus were confirmed in Afghanistan last week and two new cases in the lab in Pakistan were confirmed this week.
Thus we have gone from 9 cases this year to 12 officially and two more known. The message we are being asked to share with Rotarians is to emphasize our long term progress, to highlight the African progress (Africa is expected to be declared polio free by August 2019) and to indicate we have challenges in Pakistan and Afghanistan which are being addressed by Rotary leaders.

 
Let's Remind our club members and supporters of the 5 Top Reasons to Eradicate Polio
(from Rotary International's End Polio Now - Countdown to History brochure)
 
1. To improve lives: 16 million people are walking today who would have otherwise been paralyzed.
2. To invest in the future: If polio isn't eradicated, within 10 years as many as 200,000 children could be paralyzed by it each year.  A polio-free world will be a safer world for children everywhere.
3. To improve child health: Polio surveillance networks and vaccination campaigns also monitor children for other health problems like vitamin deficiency and measles, so they can be addressed sooner.
4. To save money: A polio-free world will save the global economy $40-50 billion in health care costs within the next 20 years
5. To make history: Polio eradication would be one of history's greatest public health achievements, with polio following smallpox to become only the second human disease eliminated from the world.     
   
Our District has always been a very strong contributor to Polio Plus  but our contributions have fallen well  behind where they were in  previous years. Our Polio Plus cash donations this year are $60.449.00 to the end of March and our DDF is $5000.00.  This time last year cash donations were $129,340.00 and DDF was $5000.00.   2016-17 year-end total cash and DDF was  $238.989.00 and in 2015-16 year-end total cash and DDF was $236,431.00. Hopefully over the next two months as Rotarians make their year-end donations we are able to close some of the gap.  Clive's Run-Up the stairs of the Empire State Building on May 14th will also help us reach our goal.
This is a good time to remind clubs to try and achieve the goals they have set for polio or to try and meet the $1500.00 per club that Rotary International recommends.
 
For weekly polio updates from the  Polio Global Eradication Initiative  go to :http://polioeradication.org/polio-today/polio-now/this-week/.

Thanks again for all of your Inspiration and leadership during this Rotary year.
 
 
Sincerely,
Linda
 

Linda Robertson                                                          
District Governor 2014-15
Rotary District 5370
Zone End Polio Now Coordinator 24W, 2018-19
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