In 1988, polio paralyzed 350,000 children in 125 countries. Twenty years later, there are fewer than 1500 cases of polio around the world, and just four countries remain endemic (Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan). How did this happen? In 1988, United Nations agencies like UNICEF and the World Health Program teamed up with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a number of private philanthropies to form the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
The initiative has obviously been hugely successful, but it has not yet put itself out of business. So, to help give global polio eradication one final push, Rotary International (one of the founding partners of the initiative) today announced a new $100,000 campaign. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are matching the campaign dollar for dollar.
$200 million may be all it takes to one and for all give polio the boot. Why not pitch in?