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Rotary helps rid the world of polio

In America we take a lot of things for granted, such as polio vaccinations. In 1988 there were 355,000 outbreaks of polio in the world.

Thanks to Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Polio Plus Program, there were only 223 outbreaks in 2012.

The goal is to eradicate polio completely throughout the world. However, polio is a communicable disease that needs continual vigilance. In 2012 there were three main epidemic countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Recently, Syria was added because of a new outbreak of polio. There is now worry it could spread through Europe.

Rotary International is giving an additional $36 million to the fight of eliminating polio with a goal of ending the disabling viral disease worldwide by 2018. Already 2.5 billion children have been immunized against polio. For as little as 60 cents, a child can be vaccinated against polio for life.

If you’re interested in helping or want more information, see a Rotarian. — Wayne A. Pudwill, Detroit Lakes

(Pudwill is president of the Detroit Lakes Noon Rotary Club)