Rotary was a driving force in the WHO project launched in the 1980s to eradicate polio in the world. Polio is a viral disease that is easily transmitted to children under the age of five. The disease can cause paralysis, and in the worst case, death. Polio is easily prevented with a vaccine, but there is no cure for it.
Work to eradicate polio has been very successful and has been declared the number one goal of the WHO. Currently, the disease exists mainly in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Polio vaccinations were started in Finland in 1957. Polio practically disappeared from our country already in the 1960s due to extensive vaccinations. The polio epidemic surprised the Finns once again in 1984. At that time, the epidemic was eradicated by a vaccination campaign aimed at the entire population.
Rotarians participate in anti-polio work through the global PolioPlus program through national vaccination events, fundraising, and more.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, etc
In addition to the WHO, Rotarians have collaborated to eradicate polio, e.g. with Unicef and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the United States.
ShelterBox is a Rotary organization long-term partner that provides temporary shelters and other supplies to families in need.
Read more about ShelterBox.
Rotarians cooperate excellently with the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, in our new area of operation, the environment. The water backpack and cyanobacterial observation are hands-on projects in which all Rotary Clubs and every rotarian can participate.