In honour of World Polio Day, which is widely recognized on October 24, the Rotary Club of Chatham is holding a Pizza for Polio fundraiser as part of Rotary’s 30-year mission to eradicate the crippling childhood disease polio.
The Rotary Club of Chatham has actively participated in polio eradication efforts from the beginning, under the longtime Polio Eradication Chair Emeritus Keith Koke.
The Club has raised over $250,000 during this time to help eradicate this deadly disease. This is the fifth year of the Club’s Pizza for Polio project, joined by the Rotary Club of Tilbury this year. Any pizza orders on this day (carry out or delivery) will see a portion of sales being donated back to Rotary Club of Chatham to help eradicate polio worldwide.
Participating pizzerias in Chatham are:
– Andy’s Place
– Steve’s Pizzeria
– Mike’s Place
– Godfather’s Pizza Original 2 Pizza
– Boston Pizza
– Pizza Tonite
– Pie Zano’s
– Quo Vadis Pizzeria
– Koka’s Pizza
World Polio Day follows a succession of significant developments that have made 2019 one of the most important years in the history of the polio eradication initiative.
Rotary International is the volunteer fundraising arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative—a public-private partnership that also includes the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The message to world leaders is clear: support the final push to achieve eradication now while the goal has never been closer, or face the potential consequences of a new polio pandemic that could disable millions of children within a decade.
Since 1985, Rotary has contributed nearly $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries.
The disease remains endemic in two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan — although other countries remain at risk for imported cases.
“It’s an amazing thing to think that our Rotary Club has saved the lives of more than 400,000 children over the past three decades,” said Alysson Storey, Polio Eradication Co-Chair for the Rotary Club of Chatham, in a media release.
“Vaccinations work and the success of Rotary with polio eradication is living proof. And with our Pizza for Polio fundraiser, everyone in Chatham can play a part. Every slice sold can help save a life.”
A highly infectious disease, polio causes paralysis and can be fatal. As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. For as little as 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life. After an international investment of more than US$9 billion, and the successful engagement of over 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, polio could be the first human disease of the 21st century to be eradicated.
Overall, remarkable progress has been achieved in the fight against polio.
Since 1988, the number of polio cases has been reduced from 350,000 a year to fewer than 200 cases in 2015.
The Americas were declared free from polio in 1994, the Western Pacific region in 2000, and Europe in 2002.