To the editor:
October 24, 2019 is World Polio Day, an ongoing project of Rotary International and its 34,000 clubs to make the planet free of wild and crippling polio viruses.
Thirty years ago, there were 125 countries with the polio virus and almost 1,000 more children were paralyzed by polio every single day. Since then, Rotary volunteers and helpers have immunized more than 2.5 billion children with oral polio vaccine in about 200 countries.
As a result, we have eliminated polio from 125 countries and reduced the incidence of polio cases by 99 percent. Moreover, the continent of Africa is expected to be polio-free in 2020.
Great Bend Rotary Club has given almost $23,500 over the years to help end this crippling disease. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches our giving 2 for 1.
This year to date, wild polio virus has been found in only 66 cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, Rotary CANNOT quit and must keep its commitment to the children of the world until the world is polio-free. What an accomplishment that would be!
Chad Steffan, president
Great Bend Rotary Club