World Polio Day is Saturday October 24.  Donning “Give Polio the Finger” shirts, Beaver Dam Rotary joins in the global fight to eradicate polio.  When polio vaccines are administered, the fingernail of the recipient’s right baby finger is painted purple.  Consequently, people who have been vaccinated are easily identified by their purple fingernail.




This is an important time in the fight to eradicate polio, which would be the second human disease, after smallpox, to be eradicated.  In September, the World Health Organization declared Africa’s last polio-endemic country, Nigeria, polio-free, leaving only two countries that have not stopped the virus: Pakistan and Afghanistan. 


In 1985, when Rotary and its partners committed to eradicating the disease, polio paralyzed more than 350,000 children per year in 125 countries—more than 1,000 per day.  Happily, the number of polio cases has been reduced by 99.9%, to fewer than 50 cases to date in 2015. 


On Friday October 23, Rotary and UNICEF will host an event in New York City which will stream online, providing an update on the world’s progress against polio, with notable speakers including journalists, health experts, celebrities, polio survivors and more.  Viewers can tune in live at 6:30 PM EDT, or watch a recording of the even any time after it streams at


Rotary is joined in the fight to end polio by its partners including the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.  Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more that 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas.   Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities, to working toward a polio-free world.  Visit and for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.