By S.R. Yogananda, past governor of District 3190 and 2011-14 regional Rotary Foundation coordinator
I had just come back from an assignment overseas in 1987 when I rejoined the Rotary Club of Bangalore East after an absence. I enjoyed the fellowship before meetings when I could connect with all my friends in one time and place. At one such meeting, one of our club leaders talked about Rotary’s top priority to eradicate polio and mentioned an upcoming immunization drive that Sunday.
Health workers administer polio vaccine to migrant families during a National Immunization Day organized by UNICEF and its GPEI partners in Ghaziabad, India, in January.
By Stephanie Herzfeld
On 27 March 2020, the World Health Organization’s South-East Asia Region recognizes six years of polio-free certification.
To be sure, this is an important benchmark as we progress toward a polio-free world, but as I look back on my first National Immunization Day trip to India, the country in the region once considered the most difficult to bring to zero cases, this date has now taken on a new personal significance. Continue reading →
Employees from Myjob in Mauritius support the stamp fundraiser for polio eradication.
By Nurveen Ratty, Rotary Club of Floreal, Mauritius
As Rotarians, we pride ourselves in taking collective action to create lasting change. And our fight to eradicate polio is without a doubt one of our finest efforts. For World Polio Day on 24 October, my club wanted to plan something different. We wanted an activity where anyone could donate their time, their funds, and their voice simultaneously, regardless of where they were in the world. Continue reading →
Ella Phillips Lacey, a member of the Rotary Club of Carbondale, Illinois, USA, as told to Jenny Llakmani. Photos by Monika Lozinska
“I was a professor at Southern Illinois University’s school of medicine for 22 years. My Ph.D. is in health education. At the end of 1994, I retired and joined the Peace Corps. It was a transitional step for me. I think it’s a great opportunity for people who are retired. When you’re working in cultures as different from yours as Malawi was from mine, it’s great to have some life experiences already. Sometimes when we first leave college, we think we’ve learned all we ever need to know. Continue reading →
Judy Ongg, actress, singer and Rotary celebrity ambassador for polio eradication, takes part in the festivities.
By Tetsuzo Fukuda, Rotary Club of Nagoya-Wago and polio plus committee chair for District 2760 (Japan)
We held our sixth annual World Food and Fureai Festival 27-28 October in a park in downtown Nagoya (fureai is a Japanese word meaning interaction). Under a beautiful autumn sky, more than 70,000 people gathered for an outdoor food festival featuring foods from around the world, presentations about Rotary’s humanitarian work, and entertainment. We broke our record for ticket sales and onsite donations.
By David Waring, Past President, Breakfast Rotary Club of Barrington, Illinois, and Past Governor of Rotary District 6440
When polio is finally eradicated from the planet and we look back on Rotary’s role in making that happen, one of the first persons history is certain to smile upon will be Jack Blane. Sadly, Jack did not live to see the day that we all look forward to, but his remarkable contribution and tireless efforts live on as we bring this worthy battle to its conclusion. Continue reading →
By Richard J. Fox, Rotary Club of Charlotte-Shelburne, Vermont, USA
Since joining Rotary in 2011, I have been impressed by its commitment to eradicating polio from the world through its End Polio Now campaign. That said, polio never resonated with me as a significant cause.
I was generally aware of polio’s impact throughout history: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the March of Dimes, iron lungs, and the polio panic here in the United States. But it wasn’t personal to me; it was something of the previous generation, abstract, to which I had no emotional investment.
Carol Ferguson, right, presents the Collage of Gratitude to Carol Pandak, Director of PolioPlus for Rotary International.
By Rotary staff
On 9 September, we received a visitor at Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, who reminded us just how important the fight to eradicate polio is.
Every year, fewer and fewer cases of polio are reported, bringing us one-step closer to a polio-free world. Before Rotary launched the PolioPlus program in 1985, some 350,000 people a year were infected with the disease worldwide. Carol Ferguson was one of those people. Continue reading →
The Emergency Operations Center in Abuja, Nigeria, kicks into action.
By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada
In late August 2016, I had the extraordinary opportunity to be in the National Polio Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Abuja, Nigeria. The center was activated to manage the response to two polio cases confirmed in Borno State.
I was in Nigeria as part of a Polio External Review team with the World Health Organization, CDC, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that had been planned months before. But with the discovery of new polio cases, our focus shifted. Continue reading →
Peggy Tingle with Neal Beard (left) and Keith Rohling, president-elect of the Lawrenceburg Rotary Club.
By Neal Beard, a member of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA
“I was 18 when I contracted the disease,” Peggy said, as she spoke into a lowered, stationary microphone set up at the front of our meeting room. She spoke from a motorized wheelchair, reading from her notes.
Peggy was the guest speaker at our club meeting recently, and her story underscored for me why we need to remain committed to eradicating this terrible disease of polio. Statistics are one thing, but when you hear someone’s story who has battled the disease, it takes your emotional resolve to a completely different level. Continue reading →