Dr. John L. Sever discusses the origins of PolioPlus in this video recorded last year.
The following is an excerpt of an address given by Dr. Sever, vice chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, to the Innovations in Healthcare Symposium 23 October in New York, held to honor Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin for World Polio Day and the 100th anniversary of Salk’s birth.
I had the pleasure of knowing both Dr. Salk and Dr. Sabin through our mutual participation at medical meetings, and when they would visit me at my offices and laboratories at the National Institutes of Health.
I remember in particular a medical meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, in the 1960s at which Dr. Sabin and I were both speakers. On the first morning of the meeting, my wife and I came down for breakfast. Dr. Sabin was sitting alone and invited us to join him. Continue reading
By Rotary staff
Join us in making history. When we finally rid the world of polio, it will only be the second time that a human disease has been eradicated (the first being smallpox). And we are “this close” to ending polio. Here are five easy ways you can get involved for World Polio Day, 24 October. Continue reading
Adam Arents, second from right, leads the Miles to End polio team in a yoga stretch.
By Adam Arents, Rotary staff
For the past two years, I’ve helped coordinate yoga classes for staff at Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, bringing in a yoga instructor to lead us in stretching, bending, and breaking up the stiffness that can accumulate after too many hours staring at a computer. I appreciate yoga for the ways it challenges me, loosens me up, and quiets my mind in the midst of the cacophony of everyday life.
Recently, I’ve felt the need for yoga even more as I’ve spent hours riding my bike around the Chicago area to prepare for the 104-mile El Tour de Tucson. Continue reading
By Rotary Voices staff
On World Polio Day 24 October, Rotary will be hosting a live-streamed event including an update on our fight to end polio. Here are some links to polio-related resources and recent media articles. Continue reading
Linda at St. Mary’s hospital, 18 months old.
By Linda L. Christianson, polio survivor
I was stricken with polio at the age of 7 months. From 1948 to 1953 the disease crippled 250,000 children a year. There was no vaccine to protect me from the virus at the time. My young parents took me to St. Mary’s Hospital, in Rochester, Minnesota, on 1 October, 1948.
That would become my home for the next 14 months. Fortunately, my three-year-old sister did not become affected by the virus. In many families several children would be stricken. Continue reading
Catherine Lankford trains as part of the Miles to End Polio team.
By Catherine Lankford, Rotary staff
My upcoming participation in El Tour de Tucson as part of Rotary’s Miles to End Polio team means a great deal to me on many levels.
My first introduction and connection to Rotary began in Mexico, Missouri, through my paternal grandfather, who was a member and president of the Rotary club in that community. I remember hearing stories from him about his weekly meetings, the work he did with his club, his commitment to polio eradication (both as a Rotarian and medical doctor), and the lifelong Continue reading
By Rotary Voices staff
Salman Ahmad, founder of the popular Pakistani band Junoon, is the latest musician to lend his talents to our campaign to End Polio Now, recording this video to mobilize Pakistan’s various ethnic and religious groups in support of eradicating the crippling disease. Pakistan is one of only three countries, the other two being Nigeria and Afghanistan, where transmission of the live polio virus has never been stopped. Continue reading
Alison Randall and her boyfriend, Jerry, during at a training ride for El Tour de Tucson.
By Alison Randall, Rotary staff
Being a part of the Miles to End Polio team has been helping rebuild my confidence in bicycling.
A few years ago, I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, riding to class one morning, when another student cyclist I was passing decided to turn left without warning. I crashed and fell off my bike, but thankfully was not seriously injured. Nevertheless, after that incident, I decided to walk to class. No more biking for me.
Time has gone by, and now many of my Continue reading
Kristin Brown, left, and Marga Hewko, wife of Rotary General Secretary John Hewko, take a break during the North Shore Century ride.
By Kristin Brown, Rotary staff
In 1987, I returned home to Evanston, Illinois, for the summer after spending a year at the Istituto Affari Internazionali as a graduate student in Rome, Italy. Rotary International was moving into a new building in downtown Evanston and ramping up efforts to eradicate polio. I didn’t know much about polio then, but Rotary needed temporary staff and I needed a summer job.
Never would I have guessed that more than 20 years later, I’d come back to Rotary as a manager in RI Programs, that I would follow my father and grandfather in becoming a Rotarian, and that I’d be serving as captain of the 2014 RI Staff Miles to End Polio team, training for El Tour de Tucson. Continue reading
A child is immunized against polio.
By Steve Crane, a member of the Rotary Club of Seattle, Washington, USA, and a polio survivor. Crane has been appointed district polio eradication advocacy chair by successive governors in District 5030.
Rotary members are being asked if recent headlines mean there is some doubt about ending polio for good. Our answer is that the end of polio in India is the headline to remember.
We are at the heart of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a partnership of Rotary International, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and many national governments. Rotary has contributed $1.3 billion to the GPEI through PolioPlus. And it is committed to adding up to $105 million per year over the next four years through the End Polio Now: Make History Today campaign. Continue reading