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The Disease

Polio (Poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. Also known as Poliovirus, Polio is spread person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe, effective and relatively economic vaccine (around $1.00 per dose).

The Facts

Polio mainly affects children under 5.

Preventable with a vaccine, Polio has no cure

In 2021, only two countries remain endemic.

Worldwide cases reduced by 99.9% since 1988.

Until Polio is eradicated forever, every child is at risk.

Why End Polio?

Improve Lives            

18 million people are walking today who would have otherwise been paralysed by polio.


Invest in the Future  

If polio is not eradicated, within 10 years, as many as 200,000 children could be paralysed by it each year.


Improve Child Health

Polio surveillance networks and vaccination campaigns also monitor children for other health problems like vitamin deficiency and measles, enabling faster and targeted response.


Save Money              

A Polio-free world would save the global economy $40-$50 billion in health costs within the next 20 years.


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.





Join the fight

The eradication of Polio is one of Rotary’s longest standing and most significant efforts. To end Polio, we must stop transmission of the virus in the countries where it remains endemic: Afghanistan and Pakistan. We must also keep all other countries Polio-free until the world can be certain it will not resurface. Up to 60 high-risk countries will continue to maintain large-scale immunisation campaigns to protect children against polio.

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