It’s Time to Make Polio History

10/16/23: Members of the Wheaton Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Wheaton A.M. attended the City of Wheaton City Council Meeting for the City's World Polio Day Proclamation: "The City does hereby proclaim October 24th, 2023, as World Polio Day in Wheaton, and does hereby encourage all residents to join the Rotarians of our local clubs in the fight for  polio free world".  
World Polio Day  (October 24) provides an opportunity to highlight global efforts toward a polio-free world and honor the tireless contributions of those on the frontlines in the fight to eradicate polio from every corner of the globe. Through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), CDC works with partners to eradicate polio and end the suffering from this devastating disease. In 1988, poliovirus was present in 125 countries, paralyzing an estimated 1,000 children per day. That year, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) launched, with a goal of eradicating polio worldwide. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private partnership led by national governments with six partners – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the vaccine alliance. Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.

Over the past 35 years, GPEI has made remarkable progress towards this goal. Cases of wild poliovirus have decreased by more than 99% – from 350,000 cases per year to fewer than 10 annual cases of wild polio. The disease remains consistently present in just two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But challenges remain: As long as wild poliovirus continues to circulate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, all countries are at risk of wild poliovirus being imported. Outbreaks of poliovirus variants – which emerge when not enough children are vaccinated against polio – present an additional and pressing challenge in multiple countries.

On World Polio Day, CDC commemorates this progress and joins its GPEI partners in the call to overcome the barriers to Make Polio History once and for all.