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Rotary Helps Eradicate Polio Throughout the World

Thursday, August 27, 2015 | 6:08 AM

October is Polio Awareness Month focusing attention on continuing efforts to totally eradicate it from the face of the earth. The Baby Boomer generation and before knew how devastating polio could be. Polio crippled and even resulted in death in the worse cases. Polio was feared the same or perhaps worse than HIV is today.

Rotary International has been funding efforts by the World Health Organization for many years. As a result, polio has been effectively eradicated from the Western Hemisphere and is only found in three third world countries today. 

When Bill and Melina Gates (Microsoft) decided to start sharing their fortune for a good cause, they found no better than Rotary International. A few years ago, Gates made an offer to all Rotary Clubs in the form of matching funds for the purpose of continuing and finishing the effort to eliminate it completely. 

Like all clubs throughout the world, the Haleyville Rotary Club has contributed toward that effort. 

The problem has been third world countries not allowing the polio immunization to be distributed to their citizens for fear of Americans. By hiring workers from other countries to distribute the immunizations, some progress has been made. The effort has been extremely expensive, but worth it.

Locally, a group is being formed for the survivors of polio, many of whom still suffer from Post Polio Syndrome and it's many problems. If you, or someone you know, has had polio and suffer from Post Polio Syndrome, please contact Annette Casteel at 205-412-7007. 

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