What Happens When Polio is Eradicated?

By Karen W. Kovacs


2018. The year we anticipate polio will likely be gone, done, finished ruining so many lives of innocent young children. Through ongoing vaccination programs and close monitoring, the incidences of devastating paralysis that occur from this vaccine preventable disease will be few and far between.

Hard to believe that only 30 years ago, the crippling virus was rampant worldwide.

The infrastructure put in place through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is already being used to meet broader health needs. These include providing other health services like deworming tablets, Vitamin A (a deficiency increases the risk that a child may die from such diseases as measles and diarrhea), and bed nets as well as responding to health and environmental disasters like meningitis outbreaks, flooding and tsunamis.

The current polio eradication strategy is set up to deliver a polio-free world by 2018 through its four-pronged approach: 1) routine immunization, 2) supplemental immunization, 3) surveillance to identify cases of polio, and 4) a mop-up campaign which includes door-to-door immunization in areas where the virus is suspected to still be circulating.

The leadership and vision to take on polio eradication led to the development of an extensive infrastructure for improving the health and lives of so many people around the world, now and in the future. The possibilities are probably only limited by the imagination of those seeking ways to provide better health, sanitation and living conditions for people all over the world.

The Gloucester Point Rotary Club expects the Plants to End Polio project to stay in place for a long time, too. The name will simply evolve once polio is gone. As people who love to garden and buy plants continue to designate the Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation to receive a donation from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, the far-reaching impact beyond polio eradication remains to be seen.

The generosity of Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Bloomin’ Bucks campaign to offer a contribution to our charitable foundation means that when folks purchase bulbs and plants that were going to get bought anyhow, we are able to help improve the lives of people around the globe. Hats off to this company’s efforts to make the world a better place.

Author Karen W. Kovacs is a member of the Gloucester Point VA Rotary Club. You can help eradicate polio by making a purchase at www.PlantstoEndPolio.org or with a contribution to Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation (Plants to End Polio) P.O. Box 421 White Marsh, VA 23183.