January 28, 2012 in Letters, Opinion

Rotary killing polio


India’s eradication of polio recently reported in The Spokesman-Review has its roots in the 12 Rotary Clubs of the Spokane metro area, plus another 35 clubs spread around Eastern Washington and North Idaho, and all the tens of thousands of Rotary Clubs within Rotary International’s worldwide umbrella.

In 1988, Rotary International made a bold promise to mankind: “Let us cause the eradication of polio around the world!”

Since this Polio Promise was made more than 20 years ago, Rotary Clubs from around the world have collected and funneled over $1 billion to a herculean effort called the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Rotary International spearheaded a coordinated fundraising effort that included attracting matching donations from the Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What a success!

There remain only three countries in the world that still have reported polio cases: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan are receiving massive attention as the final assault on polio builds.

So, the next time folks ask, “Who are Rotarians?” tell them, “Rotarians are polio killers!”

Paul Zimmerman

Rotary Club of Spokane South


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