Friday, October 19, 2018

World Polio Day-Gwinnett Rotarians Hold Polio Talk

The Rotary Clubs serving Gwinnett County, comprised of more than 300 Rotarians in nine clubs, will mark World Polio Day on Wednesday, October 24, with a community-wide polio discussion. The public is invited to hear the latest news concerning polio from Dr. Abhijeet Anand, a medical epidemiologist who focuses on polio at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. In addition, Past District 6910 Governor Bill Strickland will tell a personal story about polio immunizations in India.

Past District Governor Bill Strickland administers polio vaccine drops during a National Immunization Day (NID) in India.

The event will take place from 4:30 to 6 pm on October 24 in the Education Center at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce building, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30097. Hosting the community-wide polio discussion are the Rotary Club of Buford/North Gwinnett, the Rotary Club of Duluth, the Rotary Club of Gwinnett, the Rotary Club of Gwinnett Mosaic, the Rotary Club of Gwinnett Sunrise, the Rotary Club of Gwinnett Tomorrow, the Rotary Club of Lawrenceville, the Rotary Club of Peachtree Corners and the Rotary Club of Sugarloaf.

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International more than a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. The first polio vaccine was available in the United States in 1955. Use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin, led to the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. As of 2013, GPEI had reduced polio worldwide by 99 percent.

GPEI is spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the CDC and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  It includes the support of governments and other private sector donors.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis. According to the World Health Organization, there is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Polio vaccine, for as little as sixty cents each, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life. The strategy to eradicate polio is based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free.

Since 1979, Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. The disease remains endemic in three countries -- Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan -- although other countries remain at risk for imported cases.
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.

To register for the event, visit this link -

For more information, Contact Barbara or 770-309-0613

Submitted by Barbara Myers - President, Rotary Club of Sugar Loaf

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