Congrats Rtns of
#Nigeria on being declared polio free by WHO &having names removed from list of endemic countries.@Rotary@EndPolioNow
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Left to right: RI President K R Ravindran, newly elected Commonwealth Secretary-GeneralBaroness Patricia Scotland, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (speaking)
MALTA, (28 Nov. 2015) — Representing civil society and partners of the Global
Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary International President K. R. Ravindran joined UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Ministers of Government of Australia, Nigeria and Pakistan and Foreign Ministers from Nigeria, Canada and Britain in a commitment to ending polio, a paralyzing disease on the brink of global eradication.
The event was hosted by Malta’s Prime Minister and CHOGM Chair Joseph Muscat.
Muscat hosted the event to recognize collective progress and the need for continued global commitment. Leaders acknowledged the significant progress made since 2011, when Commonwealth leaders last met. India and all of Southeast Asia were certified free from polio in 2014. Earlier this year, Nigeria and Africa passed a year without a case of wild polio. Pakistan and Afghanistan are currently the only countries in the world with endemic polio virus transmission.
Ravindran recognized both the progress and need for continued focus. “We are playing for stakes that are incredibly high, and our target is microscopically small. Until we find every last poliovirus, and vaccinate every last child, our immunization, surveillance, monitoring, staffing, and infrastructure must be robustly maintained.”
The Commonwealth’s work toward polio eradication is highly symbolic of the 2015 CHOGM’s theme of Adding Global Value, which aspired to leverage the strengths of the Commonwealth to make a substantive and demonstrable difference to the lives of people around the world.
An estimated $1.5 billion is needed to immunize children in countries which remain at risk for polio outbreaks, primarily in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Leaders attending the summit announced continued political and financial commitment, including the release of € 45 million (£32 million) by the United Kingdom from a previous commitment for polio eradication activities.
Ravindran welcomed the news of continued support noting that “Eliminating a disease completely is the ultimate in sustainable development: a limited investment that yields infinite returns.”
Rotary made polio eradication its top philanthropic goal in 1985. As the volunteer arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has contributed more than €1.4 billion (US$1.5 billion) to ending polio. This includes more than €104 million (US$110 million) contributed by 300,000 members of Rotary clubs in Commonwealth member states. To date, more than 2.5 billion children have been immunized against the paralyzing and sometimes deadly poliovirus.
- Rotary International
The IPV, an injectable form of vaccine, will be administered to newborns at age 14 weeks along with the third dose of the currently administered Oral Polio Vaccine.
Countries have to ensure IPV introduction six months ahead of the WHO’s 2016 global shift from the currently administered form of trivalent OPV to bivalent OPV.
Since Bivalent OPV provides immunity only against P1 and P3 strains of the polio virus, IPV is being introduced to maintain population immunity against the OPV type 2 viral strain which IPV dose covers.
Nadda said the “landmark step would provide double protection to children and secure India’s gains on polio eradication.” IPV is being introduced in the routine immunisation programme, as reported by The Tribune yesterday. It will be administered at all 27 million newborns annually. Nadda said in the first phase IPV will be introduced in high risk Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
“IPV introduction in routine immunization is as per the World Health Assembly May 2015 recommendations and the Global Polio Endgame Strategy. IPV will roll out in 126 countries which are today only using OPV in their national programmes. This will be the largest and fastest globally coordinated vaccine introduction project in history,” Nadda added.
OPV type 2 vaccine, experts say, must be phased out as it is associated with vaccine derived polio virus of which India has seen 44 cases.
“The benefits of OPV type 2 vaccine now outweigh its risks. The plan is to phase it out by 2018 and put all the countries on IPV. Eventually IPV will be phased out by 2024 as polio gets eradicated. All this is envisaged by the WHO polio endgame strategy,” Rakesh Kumar, Joint Secretary Health, handling immunization, said.
WHO today hailed India’s IPV introduction as “a historic moment” with Poonam Khetarpal, Southeast Asia Region Director saying, “This will cement India’s achievements on polio”. WHO had certified India polio free on March 24, 2014 after three years of the last reported case in Howrah.
The fight to eradicate polio got a major financial boost from the annual Miles to End Polio bike ride that took place 21 November in Arizona, USA. Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and a team of eight RI staff members helped raise $2.9 million. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match the funds 2-to-1, bringing the total contribution to PolioPlus to nearly $9 million.
This is the fourth year in a row that Hewko has biked in the 104-mile (167 km) El Tour de Tucson ride, one of the country’s top cycling events. More than 100 Rotary members from Arizona and around the world hit the pavement with the Evanston team.
The RI staff riders have been training together since September. “In the beginning, riding 104 miles seemed impossible,” says Jean Stanula, Rotary’s Global Events supervisor. “But we came together early Saturday mornings and rode 20, 40, 60, and 80 miles. After a while, it felt like we could do anything.”
Contributions of District Designated Funds (DDFs) were a big part of reaching this year’s goal. Districts can continue to donate DDFs to support the fundraiser through 30 November. President-elect John Germ will visit the district that donates the most DDFs, and the top five contributing districts will be recognized onstage at the 2016 Rotary Convention in Seoul.
Rotary members have taken part in the ride since 2009, when the End Polio Now campaign was designated an official beneficiary of the race, allowing Rotary cyclists to gather pledges for the campaign. In the first year, 27 cyclists raised $35,000. The number has grown exponentially ever since.
When Camilla McGill planned her first visit to India about 10 years ago, she couldn’t have known how quickly – nor how painfully – she’d learn one of the trip’s most important lessons.
“I was alone in a hotel, and I had a nightmare,” she says. “I jumped out of bed, caught my foot in the sheet, fell to the floor, and hit my head.” In the morning, she found herself dizzy and disoriented, with a blossoming black eye, but she was determined to keep her first appointment: assisting with a National Immunization Day event with Rotarians at a nearby hospital.
“I didn’t find the hospital I was looking for,” she says, “but I came across a group of nuns who care for tuberculosis patients. They took me in, cleaned me up, and put me back together.” She soon resumed her work, grateful that the strangers’ kindness had sidetracked her.
“As Westerners, we’re often taught to take initiative: ‘Be the leader! Stick to the plan!’” McGill says. “Most of the Indians I’ve met don’t work that way; they work with people. It’s about relationships.”
A decade after that first trip, the relationships McGill has built with Indian, Canadian, and U.S. Rotarians have helped hundreds of India’s poorest citizens in a variety of projects.
Her journey began about 9,300 miles away from India, in the town of Pearland, Texas. When she and her husband moved there from Canada for his job, McGill returned to school to study inter-cultural communication – and joined the local Rotary club. “I went to the 2005 Rotary International Convention in Chicago my first year as a member,” she recalls. “I saw the full international component of Rotary on display. I was amazed to learn that there were grants available to do all kinds of things.”
Through Indian friends back in Canada, McGill had developed an interest in India, and she sensed an opportunity. She took to the Web, browsing posts from Rotary clubs working in the country. Volunteers were needed for many projects, including schools, a maternity hospital, and an eye hospital, with the Rotary Club of Anakapalle, a small town in east-central India. “I contacted them, and I went,” she says.
The hotel mishap aside, that first journey was a success. A $1,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Pearland furnished Anakapalle schools with desks and benches, and later, larger grants from The Rotary Foundation supported projects benefiting the town’s maternity and eye hospitals.........
The six Rotary Global Women of Action for 2015 were recognized during Rotary Day at the United Nations on 7 November in New York City for their dedication and service, which have improved the lives of thousands around the world.
“The women we are honoring here today are leaders in Rotary,” said Rotary President K.R. Ravindran. “They are pushing the boundaries of Rotary service, pushing us all to do more, be more, and achieve more.”
Lakshmi Puri, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and deputy executive director of UN Women, praised Rotary for its acknowledgment of the crucial role women play.
“I’m very pleased you have picked this team of gender equality and women empowerment,” she said.
The six women, who were selected by Rotary senior leaders and staff from more than 100 nominees from around the world, are:
Each of the women addressed attendees and led discussions on topics related to her work.
More than 1,000 Rotary members, UN officials, Rotary youth program participants, and guests gathered at this year’s annual event, which celebrated 70 years of partnership between Rotary and the UN. A morning youth session was open to high school students, including members of Rotary’s Interact and Youth Exchange programs.
Guest speakers included Fabia Yazaki, acting chief for evaluation and communications in the UN’s department of public information; Karin Ryan, senior project adviser for the human rights program at the Carter Center; Ambassador at-Large Susan Coppedge Amato, director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. Department of State; Melissa Russell, vice president of strategic partnerships for the International Justice Mission; Jeffrey Kluger, Time magazine editor at-large; and Archie Panjabi, Emmy Award-winning actress and Rotary polio ambassador.
Watch the videos of the happenings on Nov 7 at the UN
Courtesy: UN Web TV
The club disclosed this after it commissioned the first water supply projects in Abuja, including two motorised boreholes at JSS Durumi and four hand pump bore holes at Kpaduma, a slum neighbourhood of Abuja's Asokoro District on Tuesday.
Speaking at the opening, Mike Omotosho, governor of Rotary's District 9125, spanning some 23 states, said, "Whatever we need to do, whatever we have to sacrifice to make life better, will have to be made to ensure we serve humanity."
The projects are financed through a counterpart funding scheme between Rotary Club of Wuse Central and a grant from Rotary International.
Governor of Rotary's Wuse Central Club Theodore Maiyaki Bala said the club chose JSS Durumi after a needs assessment indicated the school was in need of water supply to enable use of its toilets.
"Once one of them gets hit by a disease, it becomes an epidemic. We believe very strongly it will improve the well being of our children," Bala added.
Before now students at JSS Durumi sourced water in buckets from neighbouring private residences, in the absence of its own water supply, according to head teacher Aisha Ahmed.
Nor did they have a source of drinking water while at school.
- Judd-Leonard Okafor in Daily Trust
Posted by Sunil K Zachariah on November 29, 2015 at 10:00am
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