Wicker Park, Chicago, IL (60647)
In observance of World Polio Day, October 24, 2014, Rotary International organization celebrated World Polio Day with livestream event featuring Tessanne Chin, 2013 winner of the TV show “The Voice,” reggae star Ziggy Marley, Minda Dentler, polio survivor and Ironman competitor, and host of speakers including John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary and Dr. James Alexander, senior medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control.
With polio on verge of eradication, Rotary celebrated the fact their organization is near its goal to completely eradicate polio from the world. Except for cases in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, polio is a highly preventable disease that Rotary has been on a mission since 1988 to eradicate polio.
Ms. Chin spoke to BreakingVoices.com about her involvement with educating people about polio.
The livestream event called “End Polio Now: Make History Today’ will take place 6:30pm(CT) on October 24 at 1st Ward venue in Wicker Park Chicago.
Streaming from Chicago, and hosted by TIME magazine science and technology editor Jeffrey Kluger, highlights of the event include:
- Tessanne Chin, 2013 winner of the TV show “The Voice,” will perform a song during the program, followed by a benefit concert after the event
- Reggae star Ziggy Marley will welcome participants to the event and perform via video
- Minda Dentler, polio survivor and Ironman competitor, will share her personal storyRemarks via video by Olivier Charmeil, chief executive officer of Sanofi Pasteur and Bernadette Hendrickx, Senior Medical and Scientific advisor to the CEO of Sanofi Pasteur will deliver remarks live
- Addresses by Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko, Rotary Foundation Vice-Chair Michael McGovern, and Dr. James Alexander, senior medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spoke via video to the audience about the important role Rotary has played in eradication of polio.
In celebration of World Polio Day, Rotary announced earlier this week that it will give $44 million in grants to stop the disease in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Rotary’s new funding commitment will targets the countries still at risk of contracting this incurable disease.
About $18.5 million will go to the three remaining polio-endemic countries: Afghanistan ($7.4 million) Nigeria ($8.4 million), and Pakistan ($2.7 million). An endemic country is one where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped.
Another $9.5 million is marked for previously polio-free countries currently reporting cases “imported” from the endemic countries: Cameroon ($3.5 million), Ethiopia ($2 million), and Somalia ($4 million).
And $10.4 million will go to polio-free countries that remain at risk of reinfection: Democratic Republic of Congo ($1.5 million), India ($4.9 million), Niger ($1 million), South Sudan ($2 million), and Sudan ($1 million).
The remaining $6.3 million will go toward polio eradication research.
Rotary provides grant funding to polio eradication initiative partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization, which work with the governments and Rotary club members of polio-affected countries to plan and carry out immunization activities. Mass immunizations of children via the oral polio vaccine must continue until global eradication is achieved.
To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.3 billion to fight polio. Through 2018, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match two-to-one every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication (up to $35 million a year). As of 2013, there were only 416 confirmed polio cases in the world, down from about 350,000 a year when the initiative launched in 1988.
During the World Polio Day concert Ephraim Martin from the International Reggae and World Music Awards ( IRAWMA) surprised Tessanne Chin with the her IRAWMA award “Best Female Vocalist Award.”
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 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. In 1988, Rotary was joined by the WHO, UNICEF and the CDC to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Visit rotary.org and endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio. Video and still images will be available on the Rotary Media Center.