C2S EndPolio is a group of young professionals training to compete in the City to Surf 2012
With only 4 1/2 months from our April 1st launch until the race, it’s going to be a hard slog for these incredibly unfit “Nannas” to train up and raise as much money for End Polio Now as possible.
Poliomyelitis is an acute, viral, infectious disease affecting children. It is spread from person to person, affecting the central nervous system. Polio causes paralysis, pain, fever, seizures and spastic paralysis, and leads to lifelong deformity, paralysis and pain. There is no cure.
While the current vaccine was invented in 1955 and the developed world is largely Polio-free today, Polio was still endemic in the developing world due to limited access, funding, administration and regional conflicts.
In 1988, Rotary World President Royce Abbey (Melbourne, Australia) announced a global effort in conjunction with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF to eradicate Polio. Already the program has overcome obstacles of distance, access, co-ordination, religion, politics and booming populations to eradicate Polio in the Americas, Europe and the West Pacific. The number of annual diagnosed cases have been reduced by 99%; from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to around 1,000 per year now.
After 3 years with no new cases, a country can be officially declared Polio-free. This means the vaccination and follow up boosters of all children under the age of 10. With a global birthrate of 252 children per minute, this is an exponentially challenging administrative and volunteer effort to maintain. Despite being certified Polio-free in 2001, an outbreak was confirmed in China in September 2011 involving a strain of Poliomyelitis prevalent in neighbouring Pakistan.
The push to finally eradicate Polio must be amplified. The last 3 countries with a total 650 new cases of Polio every year are Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. With increasing travel and globalisation, if Polio is not eradicated now, the virus will become globally endemic again within our lifetimes.
C2S EndPolio is a Rotary Foundation project of Ryde Rotary Club.