I hope 2022 finds you and your club well. I want to report on the Polio Eradication efforts through Rotary and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Overall, 2021 saw a significant reduction in Wild Polio cases from 140 in 2020 to 5 in 2021. There were 4 cases in Afghanistan and 1 in Pakistan. The Vaccine Derived Polio case also decreased from 959 in 2020 to 556 in 2021. The vast majority of these cases are in Africa and specifically Nigeria with 385 cases.

We have made tremendous progress and need to redouble our efforts to finish this effort. The goal is to have the last case of Wild Polio in 2023. Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio is being attacked with a Novel Oral Polio Vaccine Type 2 that is significantly more genetically stable and is being very effective in use at hotspots of Vaccine Derived Polio. As this is winter in our Wild Polio endemic countries, there are no massive vaccination campaigns underway but will restart as the weather warms. Afghanistan remains problematic politically and is expected to be a challenge this year with vaccination efforts.

We are one halfway through the Rotary giving year and clubs and members have made donations totaling $46,239 which is 45% of the annual goal of $102,240.

If every Rotarian makes a donation of some amount to the Rotary Foundation – Polio Plus we will meet or exceed our goal. I challenge every Rotarian to step up and make a donation today. Go to Rotary.org  select the donate button and select Polio to make your donation. I will note that 28 clubs have not themselves or had any member make a donation for Polio Eradication. I look forward to viewing a report with all clubs that have made a donation this year. I have attached the Polio Giving report for December 31, 2021, for your review.

I want to highlight the Top 5 total giving clubs as of 12/31/2021.

  1. Gastonia                         $11,886
  2. Albemarle                         $5,350
  3. Charlotte                           $3,583
  4. Waxhaw- Weddington    $3,230
  5. Gastonia East                   $2,233

These 5 clubs have raised 57% of the total contributions.
Now is the time for the other 50 clubs to step up and make sure we achieve and exceed our goal.

I am seeking Area Polio Champions and have heard from a few individuals and if Polio is your passion, please contact me at tjsdg7680@gmail.com to discuss.

I wish you all a terrific 2022 and let’s finish the job.

PDG Thomas J Smith