948: More Rotarians working as specialists in polio fight
- More Rotarians working as specialists in polio fight
A record five Rotarians, along with 34 other health professionals,
are currently serving on the 17th Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP)
team. The Rotarians and their colleagues flew to their sites in mid-
September following eight days of training at the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta. The
group will spend the next three months conducting surveillance and
monitoring immunization activities in 14 polio-endemic and high-risk
The CDC launched the STOP program in January 1999 with support from
Rotary International and its other partners in the Global Polio
Eradication Initiative UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
Since then, 568 experienced public health professionals have served
under its auspices.
Rotarians selected for the 17th STOP team are Kehinde Craig, a member
of the Rotary Club of Festac Town, Nigeria, working in Sudan; Jenny
Horton, of Paddington/Red Hill, Australia, working in Botswana;
Charles Kasozi, of Masaka, Uganda, working in Lesotho; Ella Lacey, of
Carbondale, Illinois, USA, working in India; and Henrique Pinto, of
Leiria, Portugal, working in Angola.
The 17th STOP team is a diverse corps from 22 nations who bring wide-
ranging medical expertise to their assigned countries. Program
veterans include two of the five Rotarians: Lacey, who is on her
sixth STOP assignment, and Horton, on her second.
Lacey, a former professor of behavioral and social science at
Southern Illinois University(now retired), joined the Peace Corps in
1996 and was assigned to work in a district health office in Malawi,
where she assisted with immunization programs and helped coordinate
her first polio immunization campaign.
In 2003, Lacey served on her fifth STOP team alongside Horton, a
nurse. They performed surveillance in Ethiopia for three months,
targeting the country's last polio-infected areas. Health officials
certified Ethiopia polio-free shortly after the STOP team left.
Kasozi is serving on his first team, but he is no stranger to the
CDC. In 1997, he worked to strengthen public health management
training in developing nations through the CDC's Sustainable
Management Development Program.
During his 2002-03 term as governor of RI District 1970, Pinto led a
delegation of observers from Portugal to the Democratic Republic of
Timor-Leste, where he met with Interact and Rotaract club members and
assisted with reconstruction efforts. He has been a PolioPlus
national advocacy adviser since 2003.
"As much as we work very hard, I still believe the privilege is ours
to participate in this program and to be part of making our world
that little bit better for the children," Horton reported in the
September edition of her personal newsletter, Manna from Botswana.
Source: R I Website