Poliomyelitis is an acute, contagious, infectious disease that affects the nervous system and can cause paralysis or death, mainly in young children. Particularly pernicious, this disease presents symptoms in only around one in 300 cases.


The first large-scale vaccination campaign was organized by Rotary International in the Philippines in 1979, immunizing 6 million children. The success of this first campaign gave birth to the PolioPlus program in 1985. Rotary International is a founding member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988.

Our speaker, Michel Zaffran, has held a number of positions atWHO, at Gavi, the vaccine allianceand theGPEI. He will introduce you the history of Rotary's work for the eradication of polio, what has been achieved, and what remains to be done to make polio the second disease to be eradicated worldwide after smallpox.

michel zaffran

Michel Zaffran

  • Director of the Strategic Committee of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) 2017-2021
  • Rotary Region 14 - PolioPlus Coordinator 2021-2023
  • Initiator of the Cercle PolioPlus
  • The Rotary Foundation - Member of the Countdown to History Committee 2023-2027
  • Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cercle Suédois - 242 rue de Rivoli - 75001 Paris
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