Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Polio Eradication: How a watch can change the world

June 17, 2014

Over the next five years, five different watch designers will participate in Rotary International’s Time to Act project, creating five unique watches to raise funds that will help stop polio once and for all. As a Rotarian who cares deeply about saving future generations from the crippling effects polio, I – along with Florent Leroux Roche from Rotary Club Marseille Rive Neuve – saw this as a perfect opportunity to use my expertise as a watch designer to create the first ever Polio Watch.

I spent over two years crafting Polio Watch One. Via smartphone app or laptop Bluetooth connection, the Polio Watch measures in real time the current state of fundraising and progress towards polio eradication. A visual depiction of a poliovirus on the dial will gradually disappear as funds are raised and a clean planet will progressively appear and turn on its axis as a symbol of a polio-free world. 

Acquiring a Polio Watch is a way to demonstrate commitment to one of the most ambitious human efforts in history: the eradication of the poliovirus from the world. 

The Polio Watch is one of the latest initiatives by Rotarians around the world committed to achieve a polio-free world. Since 1985, Rotary members have contributed more than US$1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to help immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries. Along with its partners, including WHO, UNICEF, CDC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary has reduced polio cases by 99 percent worldwide, from 350,000 cases in 1988 to 407 in 2013. 

The selling price of the Polio Watch is $650 of which $150 is donated to polio vaccination campaigns. 

For more information, please visit www.poliowatch.com

 
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