LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Philanthropy remains alive and well in our challenging world environment.
For the past three decades, Rotary International has fought hard to eradicate polio through the Polio Plus initiative. When it was launched, 350,000 people - nearly all children - were paralyzed by polio every year. There were 1,000 new cases a day. As this year winds down, new cases are less than one a week.
More than two and a half billion children have been immunized, thanks to one and a half billion dollars, and countless volunteer hours by Rotarians.
Every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication is matched two to one by the Gates Foundation through 2018.
This devastating disease that has no cure dates back 6,000 years but is now endemic in only two countries - Pakistan and Afghanistan. Thanks to the vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, and some very committed people, the world is on the cusp of being rid of polio.
What an amazing accomplishment.