PolioPlus Partners Program

Decades ago, polio outbreaks were a constant threat around the world.  After the introduction of polio vaccines by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin and a steadfast immunization effort, these outbreaks became part of history in most of the world.  Yet many still live under the threat of polio, which is why Rotary and its global partners are committed to reaching every child with the vaccine and ending this disease worldwide.

Major gains have been made in the global fight against polio:

  • In the 1980s, 1,000 children were infected by the disease every day in 125 countries.  Today, polio cases have declined by 99 percent, with fewer than two thousand cases reported in 2006.
  • Two billion children have been immunized, five million have been spared disability, and over 250,000 deaths from polio have been prevented.

The Rotary Foundation’s PolioPlus Partners program allows individuals, Rotary clubs, and RI districts to support urgent social mobilization and surveillance projects submitted by Rotarians in polio-endemic, importation, and high-risk countries.

Through this Rotary Foundation program, Rotary Clubs, Districts, and individual Rotarians support the global eradication effort by providing the tools of immunization and eradication where they are most needed – in countries actively fighting the disease.

PolioPlus Partners helps purchase and distribute:

  • Battery-operated megaphones and colored balloons to attract families to immunization sites
  • Vaccine carriers, vial monitors, and cold boxes for vaccine maintenance and delivery
  • Bicycles, boats, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and any method of transportation that ensures that every child will be reached for immunization or surveillance activities
  • Specimen containers to ensure the integrity of stool samples from children who are suspected to have polio

Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation publish The PolioPlus Partners Open Projects List.  It is updated monthly and is the primary source of information for PolioPlus Partners projects.  Once a project has been funded, or the funding deadline has been reached, the project is removed from the list.

Today, new cases of Polio are still being identified in only four key parts of the world and Rotary and the UN are working very hard to put an end to this.  The other serious concern today is the transfer of Polio from these areas to other parts of the world where Polio was known to have been eradicated.