The Rotary International campaign to eradicate polio around the world is one step closer thanks to the Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club.
Daybreak Rotary raised approximately $3,500 for the campaign with their A-Pork-Alypse fundraising pig roast and dance held at the Let R’ Buck Saloon behind the Stampede Grandstand on Sept. 17.
“It was a fun evening with 80 people attending,” says Daybreak president Lori Macala. “Join us for the second annual A-Pork-Alypse fundraiser on Sept. 17, 2016.”
Funds raised go to the Polio Now, Rotary International and District projects.
Macala notes that all polio dollars raised will be matched five to one by the Canadian federal government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
When the Polio Plus campaign began in 1988 Macala says there were more than 350,000 cases of polio in more than 125 countries. “Now we are down to two countries where polio is still endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Macala says, adding Nigeria hasn’t had a case of polio since last July, so was taken off the list.
In 2013 there were about 416 recorded cases of polio in those three countries.
“Only 34 cases have been reported as of March 11, 2015,” Macala says.
She notes war and strife in those countries has prevented the vaccine from reaching many people who fear the vaccine is an attempt by opposing forces to poison their children.
The Polio Plus campaign ends in 2018 and by then Macala says Rotary hopes to see an end to polio around the globe. If the country is polio free for a year the campaign in that country can be considered a success, Macala says.