Nigeria's One year milestone

Nigeria overcomes polio with help from Rotarians

The last reported case of the poliovirus in Nigeria was a landmark triumph for Rotarian fundraisers across the country.

The last reported case of the poliovirus in Nigeria was a landmark triumph for Rotarian fundraisers across the country.

Rotary International has donated $688.5 million to fight polio in Africa, including a $200 million cash injection to the cause in Nigeria.

Rotary Club of Invermere spokesperson Milt Deck credits the Rotarian community for supporting the cause with a wide variety of fundraising initiatives, such as the PolioPlus program to help thwart the debilitating disease.

“It is a disease that can be controlled, and it was immobilizing and crippling people around the world in large numbers,” said Mr. Deck. “By us (Rotarians) doing the eradication (fundraising efforts), we’re improving the lives of so many people by not being inflicted with polio. It’s an ongoing fundraiser.”

The Columbia Valley alone has contributed $16,852 to the polio cause over the past several years, which is a figure that is matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“For a long time, they (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) matched dollar for dollar — but, currently, for every dollar that we donate, they match it for two dollars,” explained Mr. Deck.

Polio spreads from person to person, invading the brain and spinal cord and causing paralysis because there is no cure, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. After the spread of the poliovirus was previously stopped, it was then reintroduced and continues to spread in the Horn of Africa, Cameroon and Syria.

However, the spread of polio has never stopped in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Today, Nigeria has reported no new cases of the poliovirus in one year, which is the longest the country has gone without a case. This means it could be removed from the list of polio-endemic countries this September.

Rotarians believe it’s an important cause to support because the possibility to eradicate polio is a strong and worthwhile cause.

“We have to keep working on it,” said Mr. Deck. “Just because we’ve got the numbers greatly reduced doesn’t mean that the threat is gone. The wild poliovirus is still out there and with all of the refugee camps that are being built now because of the unrest in the Middle East, there’s a chance that the immunization program isn’t getting all the children, so we could have an outbreak again. It could be back to very big numbers in a very short time.”

Visit to watch a video featuring Rotary International president K.R. Ravindran on polio eradication in Nigeria. Visit to learn more about Rotary’s poliovirus mission.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read