International Service

The Rotary International President for 1978-79 was Clem Renouf, an accountant from Nambour, on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. His theme for the year was "Reach Out", and he had been considering ways in which he could have Rotary Reach Out. He had heard from a doctor on the Health benefits of mass immunisation. He was aware that there were many small projects operated by Rotary clubs related to the Hunger of people in their communities, and the concerns that clubs had for Humanity in general. At the beginning of his year as President he launched what became known as the Rotary 3H programme - Health, Hunger, and Humanity. Core to this idea was the notion that members, clubs, and districts could do more if they joined forces than they could if they worked individually. He had the rules of Rotary changed so that all Rotarians could work together on a project if they wanted to. An early project of the 3H initiative was to mass immunise children in the Philippines against Polio - at a cost of $760,000, for which they had a little over $161,000 in the bank.

That trial project proved to be a success, and, in 1985, Rotary International launched a project called Polio Plus, which intended to rid the world of polio by 2005, the year of Rotary's 100th anniversary. Unfortunately we have not yet rid the world of Polio, but we are very close. In 2017 there have been 12 cases of polio reported - 7 in Afghanistan, and 5 in Pakistan.

Watch these videos to gain an understanding of the more recent developments in funding and activity in relation to eradicating Polio. You will note that Rotary is the lead player, and that we have been supported strongly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

  Bill Gates speaking in 2009

  The Rotary International convention in 2017

  Rotary's latest movie on Polio