Rotary Club Helps Eradicate Polio

by Kelly Choate on January 17, 2012 at 6:27 am

The Zanesville Rotary Club is doing its part to make the world a better place.

Zanesville is a chapter of Rotary International, which has been a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 1988.  Zanesville Rotary Club President John Hill said rotarians have donated almost a billion dollars to fight the disease.

"We were just notified last week that India is being considered to be taken off the list of three other countries who have polio," said Hill.  "They only had one reported case in 2011.  They’re evaluating that case now and will probably be removed from the list of Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan, so that’s really great news for us."

Hill said the initiative has been successful in India because of the widespread use of the bivalent oral polio vaccine, which is effective against both remaining types of the poliovirus.  He said sometimes Americans forget about the disease since polio hasn’t been a problem in this country for decades.

"There haven’t been any reported cases that I’m aware of in the United States for a long time, and like I said, last year in India there was only one reported case, so it’s something that we don’t think about very often, but when you go abroad, you see polio and the effects of polio," said Hill.

About 119,000 rotarians in India have helped administer vaccine to children and organize free health camps.