BD Donates 20 Million Syringes to Support Polio Eradication

Oct 17, 2018

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Oct. 17, 2018 – BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, today 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[2]
  • In 2018, 3 countries in the world have not stopped transmission of polio (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria)2
  • Failure to eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world2
  • The U.S. has been polio-free since 1979 and India has been polio-free since 20141

For more information about this program and other global health priorities at BD, visit

[1] Vaccines and Preventable Diseases. (2018, May 04). Retrieved from

[2] Does Polio Still Exist. (2018, March). Retrieved from

About BD

BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 65,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of clinicians' care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers' capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care.

For more information on BD, please visit

Troy Kirkpatrick

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Monique N. Dolecki

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