With the announcement today that the entire continent of Africa has been declared Polio-free, we have met a major milestone in the battle to remove the threat of this terrible crippling disease from the planet Earth.

But it's much more than polio -- that's why we call it PolioPlus.  Since March 2020, the worldwide team working on polio has been repurposed to work instead on COVID-19.  The teamwork on the ground — with its contact-tracing, relationships with hospitals and communities, laboratories, and surveillance procedures — has been able to help coordinate the effort to control the spread of COVID in countries where without this support the effects would have been devastating.

Brookline Rotary member Joyce Graff speaks today with Michael McGovern, Rotary International Chairman of the Polio-PLUS Program to learn more about the “PLUS” in Polio-Plus — infrastructure, mechanisms, and teams to combat other biological threats as they occur — HIV, Ebola, and now COVID.


Find out more about this essential PolioPlus effort and how you can help.  See http://endpolio.org


The World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 August announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is a historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority. After decades of hard won gains in the region, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) — WHO, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the vaccine alliance — are proclaiming the milestone an achievement in public health. They offer it as proof that strong commitment, coordination, and perseverance can rid the world of polio.