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Residents give generously to Rotary End Polio Now campaign

By Staff | Nov 12, 2015

LAHAINA – The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset raised over $600 in the fight to end polio thanks to the generous contributions of community members.

On Oct. 24, the club hosted an education table in front of the Lahaina Cannery Mall Safeway store, where residents could learn about worldwide efforts to eradicate the disease.

With a two-to-one match by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the total amount donated increases to nearly $2,000. The money will allow for the immunization of more than 3,000 children.

“In 2015, no child should suffer from the devastating polio virus. Thanks to the help of the Lahaina community, we’re contributing to the End Polio Now campaign to eradicate this debilitating disease,” said Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset President Sandy Schneider.

Polio would be only the second human disease to be eradicated, after smallpox. In September, the World Health Organization declared Africa’s last polio-endemic country, Nigeria, polio-free, leaving only two countries that have never stopped the virus: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In 1988, when Rotary and its partners committed to eradicating the disease, polio paralyzed more than 350,000 children per year in 125 countries – or, more than 1,000 per day. Since that time, the number of polio cases has been reduced by 99.9 percent, with less than 55 cases in two countries to date in 2015.

Rotary has contributed more than $1.4 billion to ending polio. Funds contributed to Rotary are tripled thanks to a two-to-one match by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Rotary is joined in the fight to end polio by its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership that also includes the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas.

Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.

Visit rotary.org and endpolio.org for more information about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio. For more information on the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, visit rotarycluboflahainasunsetblog.org.