Political leaders, Rotary officials continue efforts to eliminate polio worldwide
The leaders met in Malta to recommit to the worthy cause. Rotary International was an important participant in guaranteeing that everyone gathered at the meeting.
"We will continue to offer our leadership on this issue. I believe with the support of fellow leaders we will manage to eradicate polio,” Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.
“Until polio is gone everywhere, it is a threat everywhere,” Ravi Ravindran, president of Rotary International, said. “In 1988, we committed Rotary to ending polio. We’re sticking with it, until we have delivered a polio-free world to all future generations.”
The leaders first met in 1987. At that time, over 350,000 children had either died or been crippled due to polio every year. These children lived in 125 countries around the world. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative was established in 1988 with the goal of eliminating polio.
Now only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have new wild poliovirus cases. This is significant progress for health of the world’s populations.
“Pakistan has made polio eradication a national cause,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said. “Our priority is to reach out to each and every child so no child remains unvaccinated. I am pleased to note that we have been able to significantly reduce the number of polio cases in Pakistan and we will not rest until polio is eradicated from our country.”