Goodbye polio, thanks Rotary

Today is World Polio Day, and it’s a time of great anticipation for Rotarians around the world — including Rotarians here in Newnan and Coweta County — as their commitment has gotten us “this close” to eradicating polio in our world.
In fact, today polio has been eradicated from all but three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. There were fewer than 700 cases of polio reported worldwide in 2011. That is a dramatic change from 1985, when Rotary International decided to lead the fight to eradicate polio worldwide. Then more than 125 countries were polio-endemic, and more than 350,000 children were paralyzed by the disease each year.
Today Rotarians proudly proclaim, “We are ‘this close’ from eliminating poliomyelitis from the Earth.”
With its community-based network worldwide, Rotary is the volunteer arm of a global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. Since its launch in 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative — spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and governments of the world — has reduced polio by more than 99 percent.
Since this push began, more than 2 billion children have been immunized against this crippling and sometimes fatal disease that invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age, but mainly affects children under five years.
This war against polio around the world has had impressive results. Indeed, the world is “this close” to being free of the disease. The lasting legacy of this effort in the eradication of polio will result in an estimated savings of $40 billion to $50 billion — money that can be used to address other public health priorities. In addition, the savings in human suffering will be immeasurable.
Our world is on the verge of proudly proclaiming: Goodbye polio, thanks Rotary.


More Opinion

Georgia Says

The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle on NCAA being heavy handed: Who owns your name, your likeness, your image and your signature? In other word ... Read More


Becoming a hub for technology

The city of Newnan got a major technological boost announcement this week. AT&T has selected our city as one of four in Georgia that wil ... Read More


A stronger man

Boys will be boys. That’s especially true in high school football, where crude jokes, popping someone with a wet towel on their butt, ... Read More


Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: RAVE: Bob and Millie Coggin lead by example, and recently made a substantial gif ... Read More


Georgia Says

Morning News, Savannah, Georgia, on Joe Biden: Every time Joe Biden opens his mouth, people hold their breaths. That includes members of th ... Read More

Expanding educational and economic opportunities

If you missed Thursday’s edition of The Newnan Times-Herald, you might want to go back and check it out. That’s because a couple ... Read More