Rotary Club of Marion, IL
Polio Eradication Project
In 1985, Rotary launched the PolioPlus program to protect children worldwide from the cruel and fatal consequences of polio. In 1988, the World Health Assembly challenged the world to eradicate polio. Since that time, Rotary's efforts and those of partner agencies, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and governments around the world, have achieved a 99 percent reduction in the number of polio cases worldwide.

Rotarians stand at the brink of a great victory and look forward to celebrating the global eradication of polio in 2005, the organization's centennial year. 

Rotary's role in polio eradication continues to evolve. Initially its role was that of a catalyst, providing money for vaccine and volunteer support to overcome problems associated with distribution. A Rotary Foundation grant funded a core group of polio experts at the World Health Organization (WHO), who have guided the global program. In more recent years, PolioPlus funds have funded transportation and other operational costs associated with vaccine delivery, surveillance efforts (including laboratory needs) to identify areas where the virus circulates, and training for healthcare workers and volunteers involved in the immunization process.