By Richard Rivkin, assistant governor of District 6440 and past president of the Rotary Club of Northbrook, Illinois, USA.
The team at a polio immunization rally in Moradabad, India.
After worming our way through the narrow streets of Moradabad, a small city in Uttar Pradesh, India, a local doctor brought us by foot to the End Polio Now rally which had already begun.
As part of a team of 20 Rotarians from districts 6440 (Illinois, USA), 6270 (Wisconsin, USA), 5650 (Nebraska, USA), and 1070 (England), we are in India this week to immunize hundreds of children in the Moradabad area and participate in a Polio Summit Conference 25-26 February involving Rotary leadership, government and health ministry leaders from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and surrounding countries.
Binota Banerjee, wife of 2011-12 Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee, talks about her efforts to bring health care and education to Vapi, India.
Rotary health camp at Maldah, India
By Jenny Horton, Rotary Club of Kenmore, Australia
The state of West Bengal in eastern India presented many problems to polio eradicators. The poliovirus was imported into one of the northern districts in January 2010 and was still circulating the following December, with eight confirmed wild polio cases. Even with monthly immunization campaigns, reaching every child to stop the virus from circulating proved difficult.
By Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Four years ago, I visited India and saw again what polio does to children. I was in a slum in East Delhi, when I met a 9-month-old girl named Hashmin—paralyzed by polio—cradled in her mother’s arms. She will never be able to do many of the normal things kids do because she has polio. Watching her was the strongest of reminders of the imperative of ending this terrible scourge once and for all.
By Deepak Kapur, chair of the India National PolioPlus Committee and member of the Rotary Club of Delhi South, India
One year ago today, on 13 January 2011, the last case of polio was reported in India in the state of West Bengal. Rotary and our polio eradication partners quickly went into action, conducting a mop-up immunization round within six days of the report to stop further transmission.