Michael Drake has served in several key Rotary leadership roles, including D5500 District Governor (2011-12), Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator (Zone 26), and currently the District 5500 PolioPlus Society Chair.
Michael provided an update on the Worldwide Rotary International polio eradication efforts.
Smallpox was the first disease to be eradicated worldwide, and polio will be the second. At the start of the RI polio eradication initiative, there were more than 360,000 new polio cases annually. Over time and with decades of commitment and hard work, significant progress has been made. With the World Health Organization (WHO) dividing the world into 6 separate regions, polio has been eradicated in 5 of those regions, excluding the Eastern Mediterranean region which has polio problem areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A region must have 3 consecutive years without a polio case, to be declared polio free. Type 2 polio was eradicated worldwide in 1999, type 3 in 2012, and only type 1 polio remains.  Recent case trends in the Eastern Mediterranean region show:
2018      33
2019      176
2020      140
2021      2 (YTD)
To date, 3 billion children worldwide have been vaccinated, saving more than 20 million from polio. RI remains fully committed to completing the job. Each Rotarian can help by donating to PolioPlus, and District 5500 has donated $51,000 so far. A PolioPlus Society member pledges to donate $100 per year to the Polio fund, and there are currently five DM Rotarians that are PolioPlus Society members.
The El Tour de Tucson cycling event, attracting riders from across the world, has so far raised $55 million over the years for polio eradication, including the 2x matching provided by the Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation considers polio eradication the #1 cause of its foundation.