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End Polio Now

End Polio Now

GOOD NEWS

• The 21st August was the 3rd year anniversary from the onset of the last recorded case of wild Poliovirus in Nigeria and huge credit is due to those working on the ground in some very difficult circumstances; particularly in the areas where Boko Haram have made it so dangerous to administer the polio vaccine to children.

• Their job in Nigeria and globally, is not yet done. Immunization campaigns have to continue at the current level or higher to keep the wild poliovirus out of the country, the continent and the rest of the world. The immunization campaign has to ensure complacency does not creep in with people thinking it is over and not taking their children for their life saving polio vaccine.

• The 21 st August milestone is the highly significant 1st Step towards the country potentially being declared Polio free and ultimately the whole of the African continent (a WHO region) being declared Polio free.

• Rotary received credit around the world for its role in the campaign and BBC Nigeria reported "This is important for Nigeria, for Africa and for the world," said Tunji Funsho of Rotary International, the charity that has been at the forefront of the fight against the disease in the country . "No children were paralyzed by the wild polio virus in Nigeria, we were able to vaccinate all children before the virus hit them."

Congratulations to Dronfield Rotary for arranging to promote the EPN campaign by having an iron lung available in the District. Thanks to the organisers and supporters of Music in the Gardens and the Southwell Race Meeting for their support.

July saw a number of high-level polio meetings in London and a polio event in the House of Commons arranged by Judith Diment, the UK PolioPlus National Advocacy Adviser and member of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. There was also a parliamentary debate on Universal Health Coverage led by Alistair Burt MP, in which members spoke on polio and the need to fund the Global Polio Eradication Initiative [GPEI], the amazing eradication achievements and the importance of essential immunisation systems being integrated into wider health systems. Rotary’s role was acknowledged by then Prime Minister Theresa May.

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