Fighting indoor air pollution in Nepal

A woman and her clean-burning cook stove.

A woman and her clean-burning cook stove.

By Yale Jones, Rotary Club of Taos-Milagro, New Mexico, USA

I first met George Basch when he joined our Rotary Club some years ago. In 2009 we spent two weeks together hiking in the Upper Mustang region in Nepal, one of the main areas now served by the Himalayan Stove Project. 

In 2010, George’s desire to give back to the people of the Himalayas, an area he loves and has visited often, led to a plan to distribute clean-burning, vented cook stoves for free. Continue reading

How South-East Asia became polio-free

A child is immunized against polio in Nepal.

A child is immunized against polio in Nepal.

By Rotary staff

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) today will declare the South-East Asia region of the World Health Organization as polio-free, an important milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. The 11 countries in the region — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste — are home to 1.8 billion people and represent the fourth of six regions worldwide to be officially certified polio-free.

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Climbing Mount Everest for polio

Past District Governor Joe Pratt on Mount Everest. Photo courtesy of Joe Pratt

By Joe Pratt, past governor of District 7870 (parts of New Hampshire and Vermont, USA)

In October of 2011, my wife and I along with another Rotarian couple traveled to Pakistan to participate in a National Immunization Day (NID). The trip came about because of a Pakistani Group Study Exchange team visit to my Rotary district and the subsequent invitation to visit their country.  

Despite the State Department’s warnings against travel to Pakistan as well as an outbreak of dengue fever, we decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. At this point I had been training for my climb on Mount Everest for eight months and it was the consensus of our group, in particular Steve Puderbaugh, that the climb be dedicated to raising funds to help eradicate polio.  Continue reading