healthcare vaccine

BD Donates 20 Million Syringes to Support Polio Eradication

Franklin Lakes-based BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a global medical technology company, announced a donation of 20 million syringes valued at $1 million to Rotary, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, in support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

With facilitation by Direct Relief, a global humanitarian aid organization, the 20 million syringes will be delivered and used for vaccinations in four states within India — Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Haryana — towards the goal of sustaining polio eradication in India, which was first achieved in 2014. If put end-to-end, 20 million syringes would nearly stretch from New Delhi to Bangalore, a distance that exceeds the span from London to Rome.

“Rotary has been one of the leaders in the global effort to eradicate polio for years, and with this donation, BD is linking back to the contribution the company made many years ago to the original polio eradication effort in the U.S.,” said Gary Cohen, executive vice president of Global Health at BD and president of the BD Foundation.

In 1954, BD supplied on a nonprofit basis 1 million of the first sterile disposable syringes for the Salk polio vaccine field trials in the U.S. to inoculate nearly 1 million school children known as “Polio Pioneers.” Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children receive four doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) between the ages of 2 months and 6 years. 1

Facts about polio:

  • Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated more than 350,000 cases to 22 reported cases in 2017
  • In 2018, 3 countries in the world have not stopped transmission of polio (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria)
  • Failure to eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world
  • The U.S. has been polio-free since 1979 and India has been polio-free since 2014

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