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401: Thousands bolster hopes for polio eradication at Mumbai summit

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  • sunilkzach
    Thousands bolster hopes for polio eradication at Mumbai summit Rotary International President Richard D. King inaugurated Rotary s first PolioPlus Summit on
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2002
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      Thousands bolster hopes for polio eradication at Mumbai summit

      Rotary International President Richard D. King inaugurated Rotary's
      PolioPlus Summit on 22-24 February in Mumbai, India. Attended by some
      Rotarians, government officials, and world health leaders, the
      focused on efforts to eradicate polio in South Asia.

      As one of the last remaining polio-endemic areas of the world, South
      Asia –
      especially India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan – is a main concern of
      polio eradication partners. In 2001, India reported 262 cases of
      Pakistan 114, and Afghanistan 11 cases. Combined, these countries
      nearly 70 percent of the world's polio cases last year.

      "One would wonder why so many from other areas of the world are
      attending a
      conference on eradicating polio in South Asia," said President
      King. "But I
      learned after September 11 that no one is immune from the problems of
      and I have a new interest in community activity to help solve

      Coming from countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Ghana, Canada,
      Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Japan, Argentina, Pakistan,
      Bangladesh, and host nation India, the summit attendees also
      participated in
      a Sub-National Immunization Day (SNID).

      For the grand opening of the SNID, President King lit a flame to
      Rotary's unwavering commitment to polio eradication, and along with
      lady Cherie King, immunized a child against polio. In addition, the
      president, together with Rotary Foundation Chairman Luis Vicente
      International PolioPlus Committee Chairman William T. Sergeant, and
      Foundation Trustee Kalyan Banerjee, unveiled a 100-kilometer (0.62-
      long polio-eradication banner.

      Featured speaker Dr. Bruce Aylward, coordinator for the Global Polio
      Eradication Initiative for WHO, spoke on the global status and
      challenges to eradicating polio in South Asia and worldwide. "Just
      years ago, polio was endemic throughout most of India. Thanks to the
      extraordinary efforts of the Government of India and its partners,
      there are
      just two remaining endemic states. With continued effort, it will
      soon be
      zero," he said. "Rotary International has played a huge role in this
      success, through its commitment to immunize every child against

      The summit participants also celebrated Rotary's 97th birthday. "As
      much as
      we have done for the children of the world with PolioPlus, we have
      enhanced Rotary," said President King. "I cannot think of a better
      way to
      celebrate our 97th anniversary than by focusing our efforts on
      this crippling disease."

      Courtesy: Rotary International News Basket 747 - 27 February 2002
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