In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion to the effort. As recently as 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio each year, and the disease was endemic in 125 countries. In 2016, there were only three countries that have not yet stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Just 37 polio cases were confirmed worldwide, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.  In 2017 there have been only 16 cases, in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.