Posted on Aug 23, 2018
Jim O‘Meara has completed 25 years of Rotary Service, including being a Carlsbad Rotary President and past District Governor.   He spoke about International Service, something he has a passion about.
Jim considers our club balanced – member working in all areas. He mentioned Dr. Jeff Moses, who has done free clinics in Mexico for cleft-lips and missing palates. And Carlsbad Rotary has donated 2,000 wheelchairs in Malawi, Africa, where people are deformed by polio and famine. The work includes shots for other things like measles.
Polio was incurable - there were 30,000 or more cases of polio in the 1950’s, and 50% of those afflicted died, others were crippled for life.  President Franklin Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio in 1921, at the age of 39.
Dr. Jonas Salk, an American medical researcher and virologist, discovered and developed one of the first successful polio vaccines in 1953. Today, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is an independent, non-profit, scientific research institute located in La Jolla. Jonas Salk founded it in 1960. It consistently ranks among the top institutions in the US in terms of research output and quality in the life sciences. The institute employs 850 researchers in 60 research groups.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is led by national governments with five partners - WHO, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Rotary clubs worldwide are partners in these programs.  Rotary efforts to help with polio started in 1983. Today, Rotary has donated more than $ 1 billion to help eradicate polio. The Rotary efforts to eradicate polio began in the Philippines, which was the first country to become totally polio-free.
Today, only 3 countries in the world have never stopped transmission of polio (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria). Despite the progress achieved since 1988, as long as a single child remains infected with poliovirus, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease.
After the presentation, Bob Hermann told of first-hand experience with polio - his older sister had the disease when he was just 3 years old.
Salk announces polio vaccine: