Martin Rendón is the Vice President for Public Policy & Advocacy at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Under the watchful portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson, members of the U.S. Coalition for the Eradication of Polio gathered in the U.S. Capitol Building’s LBJ Room to honor Congressional Champions of Polio Eradication.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is a member of the Coalition, which is led by Rotary International. Rotary has contributed more than $1 billion to the global polio eradication effort.
|U.S. Fund for UNICEF/Rendón|
|Senator Lugar is recognized for his work on fighting polio.|
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington works with the Coalition to help secure Congressional appropriations for U.S. Agency for International Development and Centers for Disease Control global efforts to fight polio.
I was honored to attend the event, which included Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Richard Lugar (R-IN), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). Representatives who attended included Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Stephen Cohen (D-TN), Kay Granger (R-TX), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), and Brad Sherman (D-CA). Ending the scourge of polio clearly enjoys wide bipartisan support on Capitol Hill!
Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Anne Schuchat of CDC briefed the attendees on the progress against polio. The number of polio cases has fallen from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 to around 1,300 in 2010. UNICEF, a key partner in this effort, reports that one billion children were vaccinated for polio in 2010.
Each year brings us a step closer to the elimination of polio. To help hasten the day that Zero children are afflicted with polio, please take a minute to sign our petition in support of global child survival and maternal health. U.S. Government appropriations for the fight to end polio are part of this overall funding.
We look forward to another celebration in The U.S. Capitol – and we are working to make it soon — to mark the eradication of polio!