World Polio Day, Rotary International, and Judge Thompson

Judge seated in library before legal books

World Polio Day (October 24) provides an opportunity to highlight global efforts toward a polio-free world and honor the tireless contributions of those on the frontlines in the fight to eradicate polio from every corner of the globe. Through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the CDC works with partners to eradicate polio and end the suffering from this devastating disease.  In 1988, poliovirus was present in 125 countries, paralyzing an estimated 1,000 children per day. In less than 40 years, the GPEI has made remarkable progress – cases of poliovirus annually are now fewer than 10 and remain consistently present in only two countries.

One such partner is the Rotary International organization. World Polio Day is a time for Rotary members and partners to come together, recognize their progress in the fight to end polio, and talk about future actions needed to end polio for good.  As the first organization to envision a polio-free world through mass immunization of children, Rotary International believes the decision to vaccinate is a humanitarian imperative.  Their members have contributed more than $2.6B and countless volunteer-hours to the fight to end polio. With their partners, over 400 million children are immunized every year.

Continuing the court's impact on a global scale, the Alabama Middle District recently partnered with Rotary International to create and share a reflection on being a polio survivor with our own District Judge Myron H. Thompson. On September 2, Rotary International sent a film crew to the Middle District to record Judge Thompson’s reflections and footage in and around the courthouse for this event. In a massive outreach, the two videos that were produced have already been viewed over 1.3M times.