The Salina Noon Rotary Club is partnering with the Smoky Hill Museum to offer a community learning event on Tuesday, World Polio Day. The featured speaker is Salinan Kathryne Perney. As a child, Kathryne and two other family members were stricken with polio.
The event will be at the Smoky Hill Museum from 5:30 to 6:30. An iron lung and other medical devices that were used to treat polio victims will be on display. There is no cost to attend.
In 1894, the first major documented polio outbreak in the United States occurred in Vermont. Eighteen people died and 132 cases of permanent paralysis were reported.
In 1916, a major polio outbreak in New York City killed more than 2,000 people. Across the country, polio took the lives of about 6,000 people and paralyzed thousands more.
In 1988, there were an estimated 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries. That is the year Rotary International and the World Health Organization launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. It is estimated that more than 16 million children have been spared having Polio as a result of this work.
Today, thanks to the Eradication Initiative, polio cases are down 99%, with only two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, reporting 11 new cases worldwide so far in 2017.
Rotary International and its partners continue the efforts to eradicate polio from the world, through immunization programs and education. Rotary is helping lead the fundraising effort to ensure no child ever again has to endure the horrors of polio. A challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches every donation 2:1 up to $50 million.
Small Pox is the only human disease that has been eradicated. In order to add polio to the list there must be no new cases reported for three consecutive years.
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