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Posted on: October 2, 2017

World Polio Day is Oct. 24

End Polio Now

Apopka City Hall will be illuminated in red lights on Oct. 24 as city officials join with the Rotary Club of Apopka to recognize World Polio Day and to raise awareness and support to end the crippling disease.

Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer also will present a proclamation for World Polio Day at the upcoming City Council meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, at City Hall, 120 E. Main St.

Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to just 37 cases in 2016.

To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising $50 million per year over the next three years in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.

"We are very excited to work with people around the globe to increase awareness and further a worldwide effort to eradicate only the second disease from the planet Earth, POLIO - a completely preventable disease," said Apopka Rotary member Bill Spiegel.

Rotary has contributed more than US$1.7 billion to ending polio since 1985, including more than $100,000 contributed by the Rotary Club of Apopka.

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.

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.

For more information, visit www.endpolio.org .

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