Polio was affecting more than 100 countries in the mid-1980s and over 3 lakh children were affected every year; but now on the eve of this year's World Polio Day, the scenario is totally different, said speakers at a press conference yesterday.
Rotary Bangladesh National PolioPlus Committee organised the press conference at Jatiya Press Club.
Rotary International will be observing this day with the theme "A win against polio is a win for global health" today.
They will stage rallies in different districts in the morning and a seminar in the evening at hotel Radisson.
The committee said about a hundred children in only two countries in the world are now affected with this disease, while Bangladesh was certified as a polio-free country since 2014.
PolioPlus committee chairman Ishtiaque A Zaman gave the credit to all Rotarians around the world and said it just shows that the Rotarians do not give up.
"Over thirty years ago, we spearheaded the movement to end polio, surprising the doubters by doubling our fundraising target, and ever since we've made amazing progress. Working with our dedicated partners, we have raised more than $2 billion for the cause," said Ishtiaque Zaman in the key-note speech.
He said, "We are not far away from eradicating polio from the world."
Rotarians have had to adapt to harsh new realities of a global pandemic and economic turmoil, he added.
The PolioPlus committee chairman further said they need to raise more awareness, start conversations, hold events, advocate to the government and make contributions to eradicate polio from the community.
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair KR Ravindran was present at the event as the chief guest.
Mir Anisuzzaman, M Khairul Alam, and MA Wahab among other rotary leaders spoke at the press conference on Rotary's contributions in eradicating Polio from the world.
Polio or Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. Most know it as poliovirus. The virus is spread person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine -- one which Rotary and its partners use to immunise over 2.5 billion children worldwide, according to Rotary.