When the Global Polio Eradication Initiative started, there were 350,000 cases of polio every year across 125 countries. After seeing what polio did to children, people wanted their children vaccinated. In 2022 there were only 30 wild poliovirus cases reported. Now, people ask why we are still vaccinating against the disease. As long as polio exists anywhere in the world, all children are at risk.
Several African Countries are considered at high risk for a polio outbreak. It was a surprise when a child in Malawi tested positive for wild polio in February 2022, even in Rockland County, New York, an unvaccinated man was identified with a case of polio. Surveillance plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the world is truly polio-free, something that Rotary has supported with $73,6 million in funding over the past 5 years. They have learned that as poliovirus is transmitted, it mutates at a rate of about 9 mutations per year. Knowing this, international partners within days prepared for mass vaccination of more than 33 million children in Malawi and nearby countries. The one case in the US of type 2 polio could mean that thousands have mild or asymptomatic infections. Health officials worked to boost vaccination rates in Rockland County, where the man diagnosed with polio lived, and only 60 % of 2-year-olds had received the recommended 3 polio vaccine doses, including one postal code where only 37 % of children that age were fully immunized. The national average is 93%. "Polio is a very tricky virus, it can be circulated for quite a while without detection. We always say that it takes a combination of good surveillance and time" The surveillance network has endless potential - to detect influenza, monkeypox, tuberculosis, etc. This is why it is important to continue to fund this program. 
I was brought to tears by an article "Hello, Ina. It's me, Ina" in the October issue of Rotary magazine. "My Dear Ina, you began your life in the hardest way possible: polio at 18 months, which led to a childhood being marginalized, ignored, ostracized, and bullied. You will learn your first lesson when you understand that you are kinder than those around you. Your father will be the one who instills in you that you only have to get up one more time than you fall. And he will always be there to part another Red Sea of Impossibilities....You will bake your first cake at age 37 and ,,, build a baking kitchen, teach yourself how to bake and create a dessert catering business in 1980.... You will open your restaurant in 1991at age 48 and realize there is great power in being underestimated." She changed the landscape of breakfast forever in Chicago. 

"For many years you will try with all your might to fit in and, like most polio survivors, pass for normal. That is until the late effects of polio take their toll and you must find new ways of getting around: first with a brace, then a cane, then a walker, and now a cotter and wheelchair. But your life will still be a source of delight. What you will love the most are the relationships that will sustain you, especially with the members of Rotary you will meet each time." This is why I support Polio Plus and hope you will also. Maria Mokrai