Health clinics reach thousands in Lagos, Nigeria

A child receives a checkup during one of the health camps. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate

By Suman Ramesh, president of the Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos State, Nigeria

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

Providing sanitation, artificial limbs in Lagos

Children wait to use toilets at a primary school in Lagos, Nigeria.

By Suman Ramesh,  president of the Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos State, Nigeria

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

My dream of a polio-free Nigeria

Nigerian soccer star Nwankwo Kanu

By Nwankwo Kanu, Nigerian soccer forward, and participant in Rotary’s “This Close” campaign

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

Service projects, motorcycles, and Rotary

Karena Beirman

Karena Bierman races vintage motorcycles for a hobby.

By Karena Bierman, a member of the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse, Illinois, USA, and manager of Gift Planning for The Rotary Foundation.

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

When women are on the team

Korea NID

A Rotarian from District 3700 (Korea) administers oral polio vaccine to a child at a health camp in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, in November. Photo courtesy of Young Han Kim

Harriet “Pepi” Noble is a Rotarian and author of the blog, A Noble Purpose.

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

India marks a milestone for child health

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

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.

Continue reading