It our pleasure to announce to you that the African region has just been certified wild
Rotary members have played an invaluable role in the effort to rid the
African region of wild polio. We should be proud of all the hard work that
we’ve done to eliminate the wild poliovirus throughout Africa and in nearly
every country in the world.
This progress is the result of a decades-long effort across the 47 countries of the African region. It has involved millions of health workers traveling by foot, boat,
bike and bus, innovative strategies to vaccinate children amid conflict and
insecurity, and a huge disease surveillance network to test cases of
paralysis and check sewage for the virus.
Over the last two decades, countless Rotary members in countries across the
African region and around the world have worked together to raise funds,
immunize children, advocate with local and national leaders, and raise
awareness about the importance of vaccination, enabling the Global Polio
Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to effectively respond to and stop polio
This milestone is an incredible public health achievement for Rotary members,
the African region, and our GPEI partners, and a huge step forward on the
road to global polio eradication. But we still have important work to do
in order to eradicate wild polio in the last two endemic countries.
We have faced many challenges in our journey to eradicate polio. But we’ve
made remarkable progress, and the polio infrastructure that Rotarians helped
build will serve as a lasting legacy that will continue to help protect
vulnerable children against other diseases for decades to come.
We are calling on you today to recommit yourselves to ending polio. We need
each and every one of you to help finish this fight and continue raising $50 million each year for PolioPlus. The eradication of wild polio in the African region shows us that
polio eradication is achievable, and shows how our hard work, partnerships
and financial commitment continue to propel us forward, even during a global
Thank you for your continued efforts, for achieving a wild polio-free African
region, and for remaining committed to fulfilling our promise of a polio-free
Chair, The Rotary Foundation