A tribute to a true hero of polio eradication

Ali Maow Maalin in 1977. Photo by John F. Wickett/WHO

Ali Maow Maalin in 1977. Photo by John F. Wickett/WHO

Editor’s note: Ali Maow Maalin, a district polio officer, passed away on 22 July in his home district of Merka, Somalia, due to a sudden illness. Below is a blog post by George R. Camp, a Rotary Foundation Cadre technical adviser and past governor of District 7230 (Bermuda and part of New York, USA), which appeared on our blog recently honoring Maalin.

Who are the true heroes of polio eradication?

Somalia, once polio-free, is again batting an outbreak of the virus. According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, there were 45 cases of polio in Somalia this year as of 9 July, nearly half the cases occurring worldwide in 2013. Continue reading

Eye camp gives the gift of sight

RI Director Gideon Peiper looks at a patient recovering from cataract surgery during an eye camp in Lagos, Nigeria, in October.

RI Director Gideon Peiper looks at a patient recovering from cataract surgery during an eye camp in Lagos, Nigeria, in October.

By Suman Ramesh, a member of the Rotary Club of Lago-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos, Nigeria

Seeing the joy on people’s faces when they receive their sight back is an unforgettable experience.

Every year, the Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos, Nigeria, sponsors an eye camp with medical staff from the Eye Institute in Navsari, India, treating nearly a thousand patients in the Nigerian states of Lagos and Ogun spread over 10 days. Continue reading

One polio survivor to another: meeting India’s last case of polio

Polio survivor and Rotarian Ramesh Ferris meets Rukhsar Khatoon, India's last reported case of polio.

Polio survivor and Rotarian Ramesh Ferris meets Rukhsar Khatoon, India’s last reported case of polio.

By Ramesh Ferris, a member of the Rotary Club of Whitehorse-Rendezvous, Yukon, Canada

This month, around the second anniversary of India going polio-free, I traveled to southern India to meet my biological father for the first time. Rotary International also arranged for me to meet another special person, Rukhsar Khatoon, who at 13-months of age, contracted the last reported case of polio in India in 2011. Continue reading

Road race promotes polio eradication in Mexico

Rotarians in Mexico promote polio eradication during the Panamerican Car Race.

Rotarians in Mexico promote polio eradication during the Panamerican Car Race.

By Leticia Parra, a member of the Rotary Club of Bellavista-Atizapan

Rotarians in Mexico were proud to be part of a great effort to publicize Rotary’s work in eradicating polio. During the Panamerican Car Race 19-22 October, more than 100 cars were decorated with End Polio Now stickers as they raced 3,100 kilometers (about 1,900 miles) across Mexico.

Drivers took part in events each day where they discussed the importance of ridding the world of the disease. Continue reading

Two sides to the polio eradication effort

Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan

By Tim Ryan, a member of the Rotary Club of Toledo, Ohio, USA

I was in Abuja, Nigeria, last month as part of a team taking part in National Immunization Days (NID). I danced with nurses at lunchtime. I had lots of fun. I did not want to leave.

The entire team met committed doctors, saw lots of polio victims (mostly children), and took many photos. Experience has shown that by aiding polio victims from the local infected communities, Rotarians help the families become the best advocates for polio immunization.  Continue reading