June 12, 2017
The world has the opportunity to make polio only the second human disease ever eradicated. In order to finish the job once and for all, the polio program needs an additional US$1.5 billion. With this funding, health workers will be able to reach hundreds of millions of children every year until certification with polio vaccines, as well as provide other lifesaving vaccines and essential health services. This funding will also support all countries in keeping up rigorous disease surveillance networks so they can closely track the poliovirus and ensure it doesn’t gain a foothold.
On June 12, global leaders will come together at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia to pledge additional resources for polio eradication and reaffirm their commitments to achieving a polio-free world. Speakers will include Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General elect of the World Health Organization (TBC); Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canada; John Germ, president of Rotary International; and other high-profile participants. The continued support from the global community has driven significant progress toward eradication, and will remain essential to getting to zero cases.