Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Rotary and Polio in India

Rotary wheel transp thumb1
This and the next few blog entries, record our participation as Rotarians in the National Immunisation Day (NID) in India in February 2014. They are written with fellow Rotarians in mind, particularly those who might be thinking about taking part in a NID sometime in the future (if there are any more).

There is also a link to the blog we wrote in 2013 when we went to Baduan in Uttar Pradesh to take part in the February NID there. 

For those unused to navigating blogs, look to the right of this page in the February 2014 section and you will find a number of entries – if they are not showing individually, then click on the word February and they should then show at the bottom of that months’ list of blog entries. Alternatively, you can get to the other entries by clicking on the appropriate “here” in the list below.

  • Pre-NID activities is Ghaziabad click here
  • Vaccination Day click here
  • Follow-up Day click here
  • 2013 NID in Baduan click here

When we returned from India we were interviewed by our local Talking Newspaper. You can listen to the interview by clicking on the appropriate box below. Each part of the interview lasts about 15 minutes.

Talking Newspaper Interview Part 1


Talking Newspaper Interview Part 2

Progress in Eradicating Polio

The global eradication of Polio has been a constant theme for Rotary for more than 40 years.  You can find a concise history of Rotary and the eradication campaign on the Unicef website here and more general information on Polio here (again on the Unicef website).

It is interesting to look at a recent timeline for Polio outbreaks. First here is a summary of all outbreaks since 2008 taken from the Council for Foreign Relations website here
Polio outbreaks 2013 
and looking at the past few years we see for 2010:
Polio outbreaks 2010

Polio outbreaks 2011
Polio outbreaks 2012
Polio outbreaks 2013

Whilst the total number of cases is small, Polio shows its resilience by constantly popping up because of a cross border infection in certified polio free countries or in small numbers in the three remaining endemic countries.

Although India recently passed the important three years date since its last case of endemic Polio, the constant threat of Polio reappearing from two of the three countries where Polio is still endemic - Pakistan and Afghanistan (they share borders with India) is sufficient to ensure that the Indian Government cannot say “problem solved, let’s move on to the next issue”. Because of this, the Government still organises a number of National Immunisation Days (NIDs) when the objective is to vaccinated all 173 million children and a few SubNational Immunisation Days (SNIDs) which focus on high risk areas.

And so, every year Rotarians from across the world go to India to assist in NIDs and SNIDs. The contingent from the United Kingdom are always led by two unsung heroes - Mike and Bernice Yates and it is to them that I dedicate these blog entries.

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