Dear Fellow Rotarians in District 5240,

As most of you know eradicating Polio from the face of the earth is Rotary International’s #1 objective. In 1985 that objective began. At that time there were 126 countries in the world endemic with 3 types of polio. 350,000 children and adults were paralyzed with one of the 3 types every year. Over the past 30 plus years, through the very hard work of those countries, Rotary, WHO, CDC, UNICEF and in 2007 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we can celebrate that all but 2 of those countries are polio free. The last countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only ones with wild polio cases. The good news is this week we have seen zero cases of Polio in the world. And even much better news Africa has been declared by WHO as completely Polio Free…this is such fantastic news, I felt I had to share it with all of you. Check out the links to Rotary and Time Magazine's articles:


Also, I want you all to know... Many of you in our District that have travelled to India for National Immunization Day (NIDs) under the leadership of our Past District Governor, Anil Garg. Our hard working Rotarians combined with India's leadership (specifically India's Polio Plus National Committee Chair, Deepak Kapur) and hard working efforts has helped to make India Polio Free. India has been Polio Free since 2013. Those of us who traveled know the hard work it takes to rid the country of this horrible disease. Bruce Howard, Polio Plus Chair for RC of Cambria took a number of trips to Nigeria for NIDs, these trips were real tough I understand, Bruce and his teams are to be commended for their hard work also.
Congratulations to the Continent of Africa, and for all the countries for doing the job of eradicating polio, you are all amazing!

My wife Carol has traveled to India for 4 NIDs and for humanitarian projects. She wrote a poem to celebrate our Polio Heroes and I want to share it with you. Those who have been on NIDs will understand. Click here for her poem: Polio Plus Heroes
Thank you,
Jim Lewis
PP RC of Moorpark
D5240 Polio Plus Chair