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Rotart Club of Palm Coast

It was a pleasure to speak to the Rotary Club of Flagler CountyPalm Coast, Florida at their monthly luncheon meeting. As is their custom, the club made a donation on behalf of their guest speaker to the Polio Plus Program of The Rotary Foundation. The donation will enable immunization of 25 children against polio. Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. The strategy to eradicate polio is based on preventing infection by immunizing every child. When transmission stops, the world can become polio-free.

Rotary, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide since their first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. This is big news not often reported. They are close to eradicating polio, but there is more to do. Three countries are still considered endemic to polio: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. However, until poliovirus transmission is interrupted in these countries, all countries remain at risk of importation of polio. Through the work of Rotary and its partners, strong population immunity levels are being maintained through high vaccination coverage. The addition of strong disease surveillance to detect and respond rapidly can lead to the complete elimination of polio from the world.