This week, I am heading from Seattle to New York to speak for 180 seconds. I will be talking at a United Nations meeting about the fight to eradicate polio. I am very passionate on the subject, and I usually prefer to discuss it for hours at a time. In this case, however, I am happy to stop at three minutes. Because the reason my time is short is that so many people are committed to eradication we can barely all squeeze into the program. Continue reading
Rotary to me is about going into the trenches with communities and working with them. I like my feet and hands community muddy.
So I had serious reservations at first about packaged grants. It sounded like The Rotary Foundation would do all the work and it would be handed to Rotarians as a done deal. Then I received an email from the Foundation that Aga Khan University had been identified as a potential strategic partner to train nurses within their university system in Eastern Africa. They were asking if District 9200 would be interested. Continue reading
My club organizes six health camps a year. During these camps, patients line up beginning very early in the morning for free consultations. Young women bring their children, and receive iron supplements, vitamin tablets, anti-malaria medication, and sometimes de-worming medicines. We see them smiling as they return home after their health checks, carrying their supplements and medicines.
Quite a number of elderly patients also attend the camps, gaining access to blood pressure checks, random blood sugar checks, and general health advice they would not otherwise be able to afford. Continue reading
At the Shyllon primary school in Lagos, students lacked proper toilet facilities, using the grounds of the school for their sanitation needs. The smell was often unbearable, and the girls found it embarrassing to use an open toilet. Water is scarce, making the environment very unhealthy and disease-prone.
Learning of this situation, my Rotary club undertook a project to provide 10 toilets and a water tank to provide adequate water during the day. Continue reading
As a proud Nigerian footballer, I have scored many goals for my country. But there’s one goal I still need to score — I want to help Nigeria kick polio out forever.
Growing up in Owerri, I practiced every day from sunrise to sunset in the hope of one day playing for my country. Through years of hard work and dedication, I have been able to fulfill my dream. But some of our children will never have the same opportunities I did — children who fall victim to polio, a devastating disease that continues to threaten our communities. Many polio victims will never walk again, let alone compete on the football field. Continue reading
In 2005, a year after I started working at the Rotary Foundation, I worked on a tsunami relief project with a very active Rotarian – Chuck Remen, from the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse.
He convinced me that I ought to be a Rotarian. (Actually, it didn’t take much convincing, because I liked the organization.) Since, I’ve been on the club’s board of directors every year. It’s not something I do because of my job. It’s something I do because my club is awesome. Continue reading
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By Ambroise Tshimbalanga Kasongo, chair of RI’s African PolioPlus Committee More than 100 million children below the age of five will be vaccinated against polio in a synchronized campaign covering 20 countries in West and Central Africa starting on Friday. … Continue reading
It’s International Women’s Day and I’m celebrating and spreading the news that thousands of women on two continents play a major role in eradicating polio.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative tells the story of these female vaccinators and front line health care workers in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
And they are not working in hospitals or clinics, but in the field, traveling door-to-door, down back alleys to talk Continue reading
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.