Clubs and Organizations Polio Plus
topic of Rotary The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus.�? President Mary Edelen, who also led us in the invocation, opened the meeting. A round of singing, announcements, and introduction of guests followed this. Rotarian Charles Yelverton and President Mary Edelen were the speakers for the day. Their presentation concerned Rotary Internationalâ�?�?s Polio Plus program. The aim of this program is to eradicate polio throughout the world.�? So far, approximately 93 percent of the world population has been vaccinated, but that leaves millions unprotected. Travel is very unrestricted throughout the world. This leaves any population vulnerable to a carrier who may travel undetected.�? Congress has been asked to introduce legislation to guard against infected travelers. Polio Plus is the foremost program of Rotary International.�? So far, about $700 million has been raised since Rotary International began the program. Dr. Yelverton informed us that polio is a virus, which can affect the central nervous system.�? Symptoms of this disease can be manifested in many ways: from paralysis of limbs, to paralysis of the respiratory system, including death. Over the years many vaccines have been developed, starting with the Sauk vaccine in the â�?�?50s.�? The original vaccine contained live viruses and was injected.�? Years later came the advent or oral vaccines, and recently the medical community has switched to an inactivated injectable vaccine. Historically there were about 185 countries in which the virus was detected, except North America and Europe. Currently there are just four countries where the virus is unchecked. Many countries and health organizations have banded together to deal with this disease. In response to the need for funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have issued a challenge to Rotary International. This foundation has pledged $100 million dollars to be matched by Rotary International over a three-year period. In an unprecedented gesture of generosity, they have paid the money now rather than at the end of the three-year period.�? In response to this gesture, our District 5610, of which we are a part, has set a goal of raising $20 per member per year over a three-year period to meet the challenge.