On November 10, 2020, Mike Berger who is the District 5910 Polio Leader spoke to the Magnolia Rotary Club membership about where the Polio Eradication is as of 2020. Pictured above is Mike Berger giving his first Polio immunization in India.
Mike Berger provided a slide presentation about where Rotary International is with Polio Eradication. Mike then showed a couple of photos showing what an iron lung looks like (see below) and explaining that you have to live in them for the rest of your life. The first photo is an old photo of a polio ward in a hospital and the second photo is of a man who has lived most of his life in an iron lung that breathes for him.

Mike then gave everyone some history of Polio in the world:
  • In 1988, there were approximately 350,000 cases of polio in the world. The W.H.O. passed a resolution to eradicate Polio by the year 2000.
  • In 1993, there were around 100,000 reported Polio cases in the world.
  • In 1994, China launched it's first effort to immunize 80 million children. The entire western hemisphere is certified as "Polio Free".
  • In 1995, India launched its first effort to immunize 87 million children.
  • In 1999, more than 450 million children have been immunized. The number of reported Polio cases drops to 7,000.
  • Today, only Pakistan and Afghanistan still are not polio free. They still have 133 reported Polio cases; 80 in Pakistan and 53 in Afghanistan.
  • Today, it is estimated that 20 Million children have been saved from Polio.
Mike then told everyone that if we would compare Polio to running a one mile race, today we would only have about 11 inches to go to complete the race. Mike then pointed out that the effort to eradicate Polio has the following partners:
  • Rotary International
  • UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund)
  • CDC (Center for Disease Control)
  • W.H.O. (World Health Organization)
These groups with the help of the Gates Foundation (matching funds 2:1) have raised over $1 Billion since 1985.
Mike then showed some photos of the squalid living conditions in Deli India (see below);
The first photo is of an open meat market, the second of pigs that run free (no one eats meat in India), and the 3rd of cow manure patties that are burned for cooking and heating. Mike also showed other photos of the extremely poor living conditions of the India people.
AT the end of his presentation, Mike offered to match up to $500 of any funds given by our membership for Polio. Mike also noted that these funds count toward Paul Harris points.