The following is a quote from Bill Gates that appeared in LinkedIn’s Influencer series surrounding the idea of Giving Tuesday, December 2, 2014. Gates discusses the importance of vaccines and how powerful a concept vaccinating everyone is. This segment of the piece Gates wrote discusses the polio vaccine. Rotary’s PolioPlus vaccine program is a major part of the effort to eradicate polio. For only $ .60 USD, a child can be vaccinated against polio and thus give the child a life free from the horrible effects of polio. After you read the Gates piece, please visit my crowd funding page and donate to Rotary’s PolioPlus program. The plan in place by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative sets the end of 2018 as the date by which the entire world will be polio free. With small pox first, polio will be the second major disease caused by a virus that has been eradicated by a worldwide effort. ( Wasser’s crowd funding URL: https://fundly.com/helping-to-eradicate-polio )
I’ve been looking at some of the data on vaccines and thought I would share what I’m seeing. At a time when so many news headlines are grim, it is inspiring stuff.
I’ll start with polio. Cases are down more than 99 percent since 1988. Earlier this year, we celebrated a fantastic achievement: India was declared polio-free. And in Nigeria, the number of polio cases is at an all-time low, just 6 so far this year versus more than 50 by this time last year. It’s one of only three countries that have never been polio free (the others are Pakistan and Afghanistan).
Wherever we make progress on polio, it’s a testament to the amazing work of many people: political leaders who prioritize stopping the disease, donors who help fund the effort, and—most importantly—the health workers who doggedly go from house to house to deliver vaccines. Thanks to all this work (and with a little luck), 2015 could be the first time Nigeria goes a year without a case of wild poliovirus, and the first time all of Africa is polio-free. If we maintain this commitment, I’m quite optimistic that by 2018 we will get rid of this crippling disease, everywhere, forever.
( Wasser’s crowd funding URL: https://fundly.com/helping-to-eradicate-polio )