In an effort to commemorate the Bordentown Rotary Club’s ongoing efforts toward ridding the world of polio, Mayor Stephen Benowitz recently proclaimed Oct. 24 as World Polio Day.
At a township committee meeting on Oct. 22, the township mayor announced the proclamation with Rotary Club Treasurer John Pavlovsky and President Bill Mercantini on behalf of Rotary District 7505.
“There are still people out there with polio, so what we’re trying to do is build awareness of it,” said Pavlovsky. “We are still working on it. It’s not gone forever, and we’re still trying to get it completely eradicated.”
Poliomyelitis, or polio as it’s commonly known, is a highly infectious virus that attacks the central nervous system. Though a world-wide effort to eliminate polio started as recently as 1988, the disease has gone from approximately 350,000 reported cases that year to just 22 wild cases and 91 circulating vaccine-derived cases in 2017.
The eradication of polio has been one of Rotary’s longest standing and most significant efforts since the 1980s, as this year’s commemoration marks 27 years without polio in North and South America.
With the Rotary Club making efforts to send volunteers and members to countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria with medical supplies and funding to pay for the shots of infected victims, Pavlovsky says the club is “relentlessly committed” to addressing polio until its globally reported cases are down to zero.
“The proclamation helps publicize our efforts toward Polio eradication in that we are still working to get it done and address what the impacts could be to a child,” Pavlovsky added. “No child should have to suffer with what is happening in Polio. The more we can get attention focused on it the more we can make people aware and get the word out.”
The Rotary is an international community that aims to bring together leaders to address pressing issues both locally and globally.
For anyone interested in becoming involved with the Rotary Clubs efforts or wishing to make a donation, contact John Pavlovsky at 609-298-8229 or email@example.com.