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Area Rotary Clubs to Celebrate Efforts to Eradicate Polio

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On Tuesday, Athens area Rotary clubs are joining others around the nation and world in recognizing World Polio Day. Cine is hosting a live streaming event from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at 5:30 pm. Paul Matthews is with the Classic City Rotary. He says the effort to wipe out Polio has seen tremendous success.

“It’s been over a 99.9% reduction,” according to Mathews. “I think there were something like 350,000 cases in 1988 in 125 countries throughout the world, as of 2016 that was down to 37 confirmed cases and I think for the first half of this year, there’s only been 8 cases confirmed worldwide."

Rotary’s goal is to raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar matched with two by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Classic City Rotary, Oconee County Rotary and Athens Rotary clubs are hosting Tuesday’s event. Doors open at 5 pm at Cine. The group will then head to the Georgia Theatre. It is free and open to the public.

The Polio virus can cause paralysis. There is no cure for Polio, but the vaccine prevents the disease.

Only three countries still have Polio; Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

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