By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Rotary Club teams with Gates to fight polio
Waymon Hale, third from left, presents a facsimile of a check for $20,200 to Rotary International president John Germ at last Thursdays meeting. Pictured, from left, are past Rotary district governor Don Collette, local Rotary International Foundation chair Dr. Mike Roberts, Hale, Germ, Noon Rotary president Dr. Mike Netherton, and governor of Rotary District 6780 Fred Heitman.

Teaming with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, members of The Rotary Club of McMinnville may be protecting more than 100,000 children from the scourge of polio, Rotary International president John Germ told the local civic organization last Thursday.
Noon Rotarians, responding to an appeal from longtime member Waymon Hale, donated $20,200 to the Rotary-led Polio Plus campaign.
Thanks to a 2-to-1 challenge grant offer from the Microsoft co-founder and his wife, the local donation blossoms into a gift totaling $60,600 to Rotary International’s signature project aimed at eradicating the polio virus from planet Earth. 
Hale announced two weeks ago he hoped to raise $10,000 in honor of Germ’s visit to McMinnville, but by the time the Rotarians wrote their checks his initiative soared well past the goal.
“With your donation and the match from the Gates Foundation, 101,000 children will not get polio,” said Germ, an engineer, after doing a quick calculation of the number of oral-drop inoculations the money would provide.
When Rotary leaders launched the polio eradication campaign in 1979, Germ said, they underestimated how long the effort would take and how much it would cost. But the campaign has learned many lessons as it grew, and is now administering the drops to some 400,000 children a year, despite adverse conditions in some parts of the world. 
Several Rotary-backed vaccinators have been murdered and many more threatened in areas controlled by religious fanatics who claim, contrary to all evidence, the Polio Plus campaign is actually a Western conspiracy to render their children infertile. 
Even in the United States, and a few other economically advanced nations, there are pockets of determined resistance to childhood immunizations of any sort. Some parents are convinced -- again, despite overwhelming proof -- that vaccinations recommended by medical and scientific experts can cause autism.
Robert F Kennedy Jr., nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, was invited by President Trump to lead a panel commissioned to study the safety and effectiveness of juvenile vaccines, including those against deadly and debilitating pathogens. Despite his influential position and prestigious family name, Kennedy has promoted anti-vaccination theories that have been thoroughly debunked and discredited by professional scientists and physician organizations.  
The British doctor who instigated the anti-vaccination furor was stripped of his medical license by the UK government, charging him with publishing faked studies linking immunization with autism.
After 37 years of work in every human-populated area in the world and after devoting $10 billion -- much of it from Rotarians and the Gates Foundation -- the menace of polio has nearly be extinguished, Germ said.
Last year there were 37 cases of polio worldwide. Sso far in 2017, only two cases have been confirmed, both in Afghanistan, where vaccinators struggle against superstition and terrorism to make sure every child receives the polio-killing liquid drops.