Yesterday PhRMA was honored to be recognized by The Rotary Foundation for our support of their work on polio eradication and health check-up and screening camps.
For three years, we have worked with the Polio Plus campaign, with particular attention on health check-up camps in underserved neighborhoods in India that focus on the early detection of diabetes and other chronic diseases, in addition to polio.
In America, we are fortunate enough to no longer face the threat of polio; the Western Hemisphere was declared polio-free in 1984. This was the result of 20th Century American medical breakthroughs, like Dr. Jonas Salk's development of a polio vaccine in 1954.
Because the disease has been eradicated here at home, it's easy for us to forget that the battle continues in other regions of the world.
Due in large part to the work of Rotary International, the world has become mostly polio-free. In fact, only four countries - Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan - remain polio endemic. But the threat still looms in those countries, with occasional epidemics due to hidden contagions in other regions. So, as a contagious disease, polio could spread once again if not controlled.
It's why PhRMA is so proud to work with partners like Rotary International. As part of a global community, we take seriously our commitment to the world's patients.
Accepting the recognition on behalf of all of us at PhRMA, President and CEO John Castellani released a statement reading, in part, "Through working with other organizations like Rotary International, we will continue our dedication in broadening patient access to safe and effective medicines to help patients around the world fight disease."