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RI President John Germ
Dear fellow Rotarians,
We launched our PolioPlus campaign 31 years ago in a worldwide effort to rid the world of this paralyzing disease. Last July, we celebrated a milestone: Nigeria had gone one year without a new case of polio. But only a year later, three new cases of wild polio have been reported in that country and Nigeria has been re-classified as polio endemic.

The response to these cases has been swift; the Government of Nigeria – in partnership with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative – has already begun taking the necessary steps to prevent further spread of the disease both in Nigeria and the surrounding countries. After immediately approving US$500,000 with a “rapid response” grant, Rotary is continuing to help mobilize support for the outbreak response on the ground in Nigeria. We have released $8 million in funds to support response efforts in the Lake Chad basin, which will deploy new strategies to reach every child.
This may seem like a setback to many, but we are prepared now more than ever to continue the fight against polio, until no child is at risk and the world can be declared polio-free. We have overcome obstacles and outbreaks throughout the years. Polio can and will be eradicated in Nigeria. With your continued sup-port and dedication, we can make that a reality.

In light of these recent developments, World Polio Day is an important event that gives us the opportunity to discuss the main issues at hand: focusing our efforts on ending the outbreak in Nigeria, reaching every last child in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and protecting the pro-gress made in polio-free regions.

World Polio Day is everywhere. We hope to see scores of events around the globe. If you haven’t already done so, register your event and download the World Polio Day resources to help make the event a success.

Rotary will also host its fourth annual World Polio Day event in Atlanta, Georgia, USA at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Clubs and districts are encouraged to watch our live-streamed global status update at 6 p.m. EST or anytime after. Spread the word in advance with the help of our social media messaging and share graphics. Donating to our campaign will be matched two to one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and help reach every child with the polio vaccine.
On 19 November, a team of Rotary staff will join Rotary senior leaders, club members from District 5500 (Arizona), and around the world in El Tour de Tuc-son to raise funds for polio eradication. Last year, the combined efforts of Ro-tary members and staff raised $US4.4 million.
As fear of polio wanes, so does awareness of the disease. It’s our responsibil-ity to keep that awareness high and keep polio eradication at the top of public and government agendas. We must finish the job and End Polio Now, through Rotary Serving Humanity.


 John F. Germ
Rotary International President, 2016-17