The word 'polio' once instilled fear among people. Back in 1988, there were around 350,000 polio cases in over 125 countries across the globe. That year marked the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) by the World Health Assembly. Since then, wild poliovirus (WPV) cases have plummeted by about 99.99%, and WPV types 2 and 3 have been declared eradicated.

However, challenges persist. Afghanistan and Pakistan remain the only countries where WPV type 1 has not been interrupted. According to the WHO, there were six reported cases in 2021 and eight in 2022 in the world. Surprisingly, in July 2022, a person in Rockland County, New York, tested positive for polio. Subsequently, poliovirus was detected in New York City's wastewater samples. On September 9, the Governor of the State of New York declared a State disaster emergency concerning poliovirus. Polio had returned to New York.

The presence of poliovirus in wastewater indicated ongoing infections, raising concerns about the possibility of paralytic polio cases in the U.S. This situation emphasizes the need for awareness not only for ourselves but also for future generations. 

As Rotarians, it is our duty to engage actively in the 'End Polio Now' campaigns. All clubs under District 7230 organized a Polio Day Party on World Polio Day 2023 for fundraising and celebration. Registration for the event was without any fee and contribution of a minimum of $25 to the PolioPlus Fund was expected.  Rotary members in District 7230 donating $100 or more will be recognized with a special pin as members of the District's new Polio Plus Society.
A number of Club members have donated to the Polio Plus Fund.  Our Club contributed $100 to the Fund having raised funds at the recent festival in Westchester.

We invite all to be the member of Polio Plus Society contributing $100 annually to the Polio Plus Fund of Rotary Foundation. And also urge each of the district clubs to take their own programs for this fund raising and for raising awareness in our society.

Eradicating polio is a challenging task, but it's a historic endeavor. This #WorldPolioDay, let's unite with @Rotary and global partners in the fight to #EndPolio for good: