Funding the fight against polio

A child who has tested positive for polio in Pakistan.

A child who tested positive for polio in Pakistan.

By Jewat Sunder, Rotary Club of Khipro Sunders, Pakistan

I recently traveled to the Sanghar District of Pakistan to meet the parents of a child who had tested positive for polio. Rotary members were taking part in immunizing children against polio during a one-day drive.

Seeing the child reminded me all the more why we must eradicate this disease. The parents cooperated with me in distributing vaccination information, and I handed out End Polio Now caps, pencils, and balls. Continue reading

Play dramatizes danger of not immunizing your children

A woman crippled from polio receives help from her mother in a play sponsored by Rotary members in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

A woman crippled from polio receives help from her mother in a play sponsored by Rotary members in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, a member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

In May, we held a special play to promote polio awareness in Shamsabad, Rawalpindi, with the help of the Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee and the Rawalpindi Arts Council.

The play portrays a young woman at an engagement party who becomes the laughing stock of the celebration when she cannot dance like the other young women. Her left leg is crippled from the effects of contracting polio as a child.

At the cruel remarks from her peers, the girl, Kiran, bursts into tears and proclaims “It is not my fault. My parents are responsible because they did not give me the polio vaccine. Continue reading

Safe drinking water for every child

Rotary members tour one of the schools that received water coolers and purification systems.

Rotary members tour one of the schools that received water coolers and purification systems.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, a member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

Earlier this month, Rotary members from Pakistan and India joined together to provide clean drinking water to two government-run schools in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Continue reading

Rotary loses a strong voice for polio eradication in Pakistan

During a visit to the Site Town Polio Resource Center in Karachi in March, Robert Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, presents flowers to a girl after immunizing her against polio. Behind is Abdul Waheed Khan, who headed the center until his tragic death in May. Photo courtesy of Aziz Memon

During a visit to the Site Town Polio Resource Center in Karachi in March, Robert Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, presents flowers to a girl after immunizing her against polio. Behind is Abdul Waheed Khan, who headed the center until his tragic death in May. Photo courtesy of Aziz Memon

By Robert S. Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee

Abdul Waheed Khan, who headed the Site Town Polio Resource Center in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, died tragically in an attack on 13 May that also wounded his daughter and brother.

Although not a Rotarian, Waheed, as he was known to friends, was a member of the Rotary Community Corps sponsored by the Rotary Club of Karachi. Due largely to his vision and leadership, the center not only provides immunization against polio and other diseases but also operates a school, a food program, and a vaccine storage facility. Continue reading

Rotarians step up polio eradication efforts in Pakistan

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

By Aziz Memon, Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee Chair At the End Polio Summit in Islamabad, Rotarians committed to help make Pakistan polio free through advocacy with government and religious leaders, immunizing migrant children at transit points, and conducting health camps … Continue reading

Rotary condemns attacks targeting polio vaccinators in Pakistan

A child shows off the purple dye on his pinkie, a sign he has received the polio vaccine.

A child shows off the purple dye on his pinkie, a sign he has received the polio vaccine.

By Robert S. Scott, chair of the International PolioPlus Committee

Rotary International joins the Government of Pakistan and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in condemning the recent attacks that have killed and wounded health workers in Pakistan.

The shooting victims are among the thousands of health workers and volunteers – including members of Pakistan’s 151 Rotary clubs – who are committed to saving children by stopping the transmission of polio in Pakistan, one of three countries where the crippling virus remains endemic. Continue reading

3,000 miles for 3 minutes: A global call to end polio

Bill Gates

By Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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

Proud to be a Rotarian

A boy has his pinkie marked to indicate he has received the polio vaccine. Photo courtesy of Dino Marzaro

Dino Marzaro, president of the Rotary Club of Quebec, Quebec City, Canada

I first discovered Rotary in 1998, when I joined the Rotary Club of Quebec City. For the past six years, I have tried to take part in a polio immunization trip every year, with the latest this July to Pakistan.

From 12-22 July, a team of three Rotarians from Quebec City, Canadian polio survivor and Rotarian Ramesh Ferris, and four Rotarians from the United States took part in immunization efforts in Karachi. Aziz Memon, chair of the Pakistan PolioPlus Committee, and Shaikh Jalaluddin, governor of District 3271, took care of our team from the minute we arrived. Continue reading

Progress in Pakistan for polio eradication

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Robert S. Scott, Rotary International PolioPlus Committee chair

Rotary International is aware of the recent news reports on the polio vaccination program in Pakistan. We continue to work closely with our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the government of Pakistan to ensure our progress continues.

The good news is that Pakistan has recorded only half as many new polio cases so far this year as it had at the same time last year — this is the best proof that overall immunization coverage is improving as we adapt to the many challenges we continue to face in Pakistan.  Continue reading

Pakistan hockey tournament raises awareness for polio eradication

Children join a polio awareness walk before the final match of a hockey tournament in Faisalabad, Pakistan, with the theme of “End Polio Now/Make Pakistan Polio Free.” 

By Shehzad Ahmed, past governor of District 3272 (Afghanistan, Pakistan)

A hockey tournament involving 28 teams in Faisalabad, Pakistan, provided an ideal opportunity to reach hockey fans and encourage them to be a part of stamping out polio in Pakistan, one of the three remaining countries where transmission of the virus has never been stopped.

The Rotary Club of Lahore Garrison, Punjab, teamed up with the Paradise Hockey Club to organize the Fatima-Shah Muhammad Memorial Hockey Tournament in March. The theme of the tournament was “End Polio Now/Make Pakistan Polio Free.” Continue reading