In 1988, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was formed, polio paralyzed more than 350,000 people a year. Since that time, polio case numbers have decreased by more than 99%. The global effort to eradicate polio is the largest public-private partnership for public health. In fact, it is the largest-ever internationally coordinated public health effort in history. It is spearheaded by national governments, WHO, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF, and is supported by key partners including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Underpinning the effort is a global network of more than 20 million volunteers worldwide who have collectively immunized nearly 3 billion children over the past 20 years.
While polio is a distant memory in most of the world, the disease still exists in some places and mainly affects children under 5. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs). Among those paralyzed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.
In addition to his generous donations, Dr. Dover has also donated numerous hours locally and in foreign countries to provide medical services to communities in need.