Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. The virus is spread person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine. Rotary International and its partners use it to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide.
Oct. 24, 2018 is World Polio Day. Rotary International and the Chelsea Rotary Club have been working to end polio worldwide since 1988. During that time, the incidence of polio has been reduced by 99.9%. Rotary International will highlight World Polio Day with a special event at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia.
In Chelsea, the Rotary Club will march from the rock in Pierce Park to downtown; everyone is invited to join in this march at noon.
Today, only three countries are not polio-free: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. India was declared polio-free in 2014, but until polio is ended, every child is at risk.
Completely eradicating this disease has taken billions of dollars, and more is yet needed. Until every country has been polio-free for three years, it cannot be declared defeated. Individuals can help in this fight by learning more, spreading the word, and donating to the campaign at: https://www.endpolio.org/donate