The efforts to end polio cannot happen without organisations, governments and volunteers working together.
Rotary formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988 as they spearheaded the global campaign to rid the world of the disease.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, led by the world-famous Microsoft Entrepreneur, joined the GPEI in 2000, and since then has supported efforts to eradicate the disease by matching Rotary fundraising to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
We at the Foundation are immensely proud to stand alongside Rotary in the push to eradicate polio.”
Dr Jay Wenger, Director of the Polio Programme at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has used World Polio Day to send a message of gratitude and collaboration to Rotary members in Great Britain and Ireland, and around the world.
“We at the Foundation are immensely proud to stand alongside Rotary in the push to eradicate polio and continue to be inspired by how your generosity and hard word ensures that millions of children worldwide are protected from this disease.
“As we move closer to a polio-free world, it’s vital that together with all of our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we redouble our efforts to protect the progress made against polio and ensure that all children are reached with the polio vaccine.
“The Foundation’s 2-to-1 funding match with Rotary is a huge part of this and raises $150 million a year to support eradication. This is all thanks to the efforts and commitment of over 1 million Rotarians worldwide.
“We look forward to our continued partnership with you and are confident that with your commitment and dedication, no child will have to suffer from this disease every again.”
As well as contributing significant financial resources, the Gates Foundation helps to accelerate targeted vaccination campaigns, improve polio surveillance and outbreak response and galvanise additional financial and political support for polio eradication.
Dr Jay Wenger’s message was originally broadcast on Rotary Radio UK.