Polio Plus newsENDPOLIONOW_4p

It has been a real roller coaster month for Polio Plus with the out breaks in Africa and  in Syria.  But more perspective is available from Dr. Bruce Aylward from WHO who has a presentation at https://www.rotary.org/en/world-polio-day-rotary-spotlights-fight-end-disease  that he gave on World Polio Day. The following is (mostly) from his presentation.

—Willis Sutliff, MD, Polio Subcommittee Chair

The lows are the outbreak in Kenya, Somalia, Syria and a few added cases in Cameroon, South Sudan and Ethiopia. The bigger picture is that the encirclement of these cases in the African countries has already cut new cases in the African outbreak to only a few in October. Syria is obviously a difficult problem  but national immunizations days are happening and efforts are being made for days of truces while the Polio Global Eradication Initiative volunteers and workers immunize the at risk infants and children. This has been successful in the past in war torn countries. Nigeria continues to be the most difficult country spreading more cases to previously polio free states than any other country.
The highs are numerous. First is a huge break through. Type 3 polio (one of the original three types) has not occurred world wide since the start of 2013.  If this continues it means only type 1 is still circulating.  Dealing with only one type will allow use of  a stronger vaccine so that fewer doses are needed to establish immunity. Second, the number of cases in Afghanistan is down to 8 and the cases in Nigeria are down to 49. Pakistan stands unchanged from last year at 46.

Nigeria as noted is the most difficult country even through it has made progress. More cases have spread out of Nigeria than from any previous country.  The northern provinces are not under central control although the central Health Department still works there. There is disinformation and lies being spread by a university professor saying that polio immunization sterilizes and gives children aids. Meeting with him and showing him scientific evidence has not helped as he does not understand science. He has sent CD's full of falsehoods to many Muslin leaders. The Global Eradication Initiative has met with more responsible Muslins to counter his false allegations. These leaders are countering the false ideas and rumors with energy and full backing of polio immunizations.(Science 4 Oct 2013)

We expect to overcome the hurdles and see progress restored.  The Gates Foundation is still positive and is offering $2 for every $1 Rotarians raise.  The Gates Foundation has also promised $1.5 billion for the final eradication drive. Please encourage members, clubs, friends and other organizations to continue giving. You can go to End Polio Now on the web or send checks to George Twitter earmarked for polio.  Our District 5610 continues to give 20% of District Defined Funds to Polio Plus. I thank the Board and District Governor Nancy Moose for the continued support at this level.