World Polio Day: Making History

Sep 24, 2013, 09:00 ET from Rotary International

A special status report on the global effort to eradicate polio

EVANSTON, Ill., Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  The following is being released by Rotary International:

WHAT: Evanston-based Rotary and Northwestern University's Center for Global Health convene an international panel of experts to discuss the progress of the global initiative to eradicate polio, the challenges that remain, and how private citizens, corporations, and non-profits can join in the historic final push now underway to end this paralyzing disease once and for all.

WHO: Confirmed panelists include Dr. Bruce Aylward, the world's top expert on polio eradication and assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration at the World Health Organization; Dennis Ogbe, a Nigerian-born polio survivor, Paralympian and Shot@Life ambassador for polio eradication; and  Dr. Robert Murphy, director of Northwestern University's Center for Global Health. 

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 (World Polio Day 2013)

WHERE: Northwestern University's John Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior St., in downtown Chicago

LIVESTREAM: "World Polio Day: Making History" will also be streamed live online to a global audience at – or directly at World Polio Day Livestream.

Background: In 1988, Rotary helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Since then, Rotary club members worldwide have contributed more than $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the polio eradication effort. Overall, the annual number of new polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 percent since the 1980s, when polio infected about 350,000 children a year. Only 223 new cases were recorded for all of 2012. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 deaths.

About Rotary: Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary's 1.2 million members hail from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit

SOURCE Rotary International