LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Angelina County Rotary Club is joining the End Polio Now campaign in an effort to eradicate this disease by the end of this year or next.
Special guest, Chuck Mason, spoke at Thursday's meeting and has coordinated Rotary clubs around the region in an effort to explain how important this ongoing fight to end polio truly is.
"Only one out of 10 cases develops into something you can see," Mason said. "So, you have nine carriers for every one that it shows up in, and that's why it's so critical to continue the effort."
He explained that the general public may not be aware that a vast majority of Third-World countries and rural areas make it hard to deliver supplies and thus puts the entire world at risk.
"Most of these areas are inaccessible, and even though we have had times where we did mass immunizations, there have been an estimated 500,000 children or people that have either been born or have wandered into the area that have not been vaccinated," Mason said.
This ongoing effort is in combination with other foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Rotary Club continues to be a pivotal part in polio eradication.
"We were challenged at our international convention by one of the inventors of the vaccine to take it on as a project, and at that time, Rotary committed to raising 150 million dollars plus volunteers to immunize the world," Mason said.
It ended up that the club raised over $200 million, but their efforts have not slowed down since surpassing this goal. They hope to educate the public on the risk of another epidemic.
If you would like to make a donation to the Rotary Club's effort in the End Polio Now campaign you can visit www.endpolio.org