Tag Archives: End Polio Now

Polio Conference Gets 5-Stars

The Rotary Club of The City and Shoreditch hosted a most successful conference on 02 February 2016 at 6 York Gate, Rotary in London’s HQ with the title, “Eradicating Polio – The Next Steps”. Four Distinguished Speakers, and our own District Governor (the 5th Star!) were introduced by Club President Vincenzo Maini – pictured above – and they illuminated the understanding of the present difficulties eradicating polio, and the many problems that will come once the disease has been eradicated.

Professor John Edmunds, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine linked the sessions, Professor Paul Fine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, spoke about the History of the Programme, Professor Nicholas Grassly, Imperial College, dealt with the problems with vaccines over the decades, and what that meant for the Programme, and Professor David Salisbury, Associate Fellow from Chatham House, spoke about the problems yet to come.


The event was most successful, with many people staying on for informal discussion long after the Question and Answer session had finished. There is still much to do, although there was celebration that so far, there have been no recorded cases of wild polio virus anywhere in the world since 01 January 2016. Well done, the Rotary Club of The City and Shoreditch.

Polio Eradication in the Media?

District Governor Dick writes:
Many Rotarians have asked me about the publicity that Rotary International has received for its work on the eradication of polio. The General Secretary of Rotary International has responded. Please READ THIS and TELL ROTARIANS in your Club.

Rukhsar Khatoon the last child with polio in India
Rukhsar Khatoon, the last child with polio in India

“Rotary is receiving significant international media coverage this week for its role in the historic polio-free certification of the World Health Organization’s South-East Asia region.
Highlights include:
CNN International: India beats the odds, beats polio
BBC.com : World now 80% polio free, World Health Organization says
The Guardian: India may be free of polio – but the disease hasn’t been eradicated yet(op-ed by Archie Panjabi)
Reuters: Q+A: India at risk until polio is eradicated globally-Rotary
The Wall Street Journal Online: Q&A: India Eliminates Polio
The Huffington Post: Violinist & Conductor Itzhak Perlman LIVE
Forbes.com: John Hewko explains polio’s legacy

A complete report will follow. Please share the good news with others. I am also pleased to report that Rotary received extensive media coverage throughout 2013, with more than

  • 626 news organizations in
  • 35 countries featuring our humanitarian efforts. Of those,
  • 58 stories appeared in top tier international news organizations, including

Nine out of the 10 most influential ranked by Forbes, including the

  • Associated Press,
  • The New York Times,
  • The BBC,
  • Agence France Presse,
  • The Washington Post and
  • The Wall Street Journal.

Rotary’s role in the fight to end polio was highlighted in top-level, global media at unprecedented levels last year. And Rotary’s partnership with its celebrity ambassadors for polio eradication helped raise our digital visibility to new audiences via posts on endpolio.org and celebrity social media channels.

Yours in Rotary Service
John Hewko
General Secretary
Rotary International

Enclosed are a
Word Document with highlights and links to the coverage (41 page document).
Summary Report of Rotary in the Media 2013.

Some Good News from India!!!


By kind permission of Rotary International in Great Britain and Irelandpolio-free-indiaOn Monday 13 January 2014, a significant milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio was reached when India celebrated three years since its last new case of the disease. Official certification of the country as polio free will take place in March and a celebration is planned in February.

Long considered the hardest place in the world from which to eradicate polio, India is now a case study for mounting a successful disease response effort under complex circumstances.

In 2009, India was home to almost half of the world’s polio cases. The country then launched a comprehensive polio eradication effort to create a health infrastructure to eliminate the disease. This included a surveillance network of more than 33,000 sites, an army of 2.3 million vaccinators deployed during national immunisation days and strategies to reach children in the country’s hardest to reach areas. This resulted in the delivery of 900 million doses of polio vaccine in 2011 alone.

President of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, Nan McCreadie said: “Rotary has worked tirelessly for many years to eradicate polio and we congratulate India on this tremendous achievement. It is a significant milestone in the history of public health and will have a lasting impact on the health of the country’s children. The lessons learned from India’s success can now be replicated in other countries in order to further eliminate the disease.”

Rotary has been at the forefront of the fight to end polio since it helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in the 1980’s. This year, every dollar raised for the End Polio Now campaign will be match funded 2:1 by the Make History Today campaign, which will match funds to a total of US$35 million per year until 2018.

Friday, 10 January 2014

– See more at: http://www.ribi.org/news/ribi-news/india-celebrates-three-years-polio-free

Rotarians – what is on your mind?

DSC04162Here are some of the questions that I have been asked whilst making presentations to Clubs in the London District during July 2013.

Polio Eradication

  •             Why is there a problem in Banadir Province, Somalia?
  •             Why is Polio Eradication scheduled to take another 5 years?
  •             What will Rotary tackle after Polio Eradication?

Marketing and Information Technology

  •             What is the importance of Twitter and Social Media?
  •             Is there a marketing plan for Rotary in London – can I see it?
  •             Is Rotary doing enough Rotary Service in London to promote itself?

Membership Questions

  •             What is your elevator pitch?
  •             How are you going to use the CSR Video and where?
  •             Can we promote Corporate Membership in all our Clubs?
  •             Can we have a new pin for Corporate Members?
  •             How do we determine if a potential member should join?
  •             What substitutes for Personal Sponsorship today?
  •             How can we address London’s special membership problems?
  •             Why did the new Clubs close so quickly after they were chartered?
  •             When will Rotary make a stand against single gender Rotary clubs?

More questions will be posted as my visits progress. All these questions need to be addressed over the coming months.

Major Polio Event held at York Gate

Deputy Mayor Nemeth and Dr Sir Liam Donaldson (at right) with the Paralympic Teams from Pakistan and Haiti at York Gate on 30 August 2012.

York Gate played host on Thursday 30th August 2012 for a major event to publicise the work of Rotarians in their campaign to eradicate Polio from the world.

Main board director of Rotary International, Allan O Jagger, supported by a large handful of past, present and future District Governors, and a large group of Rotarians played host, including past Presidents of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. The guests included the Paralympic Teams from Haiti, Niger and Pakistan (in alphabetical order); distinguished VIPs included Councillor Dr Cyril Nemeth, Deputy Lord Mayor of Westminster, His Excellency the High Commissioner for Pakistan Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Chairman of the Global Polio Eradication Independent Monitoring Board Dr Sir Liam Donaldson (former UK Chief Medical Officer), and Rotarian Shaheed Azeem of the British Pakistan Foundation Board. There were also representatives from the UNICEF New York Office, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Poverty Project, and the Rotary supported British Polio Fellowship.

RI Director Allan Jagger addresses the meeting (3rd left) with (left to right at table) Shaheed Azeem, H.E. Wajid Shamul Hassan, Dep Lord Mayor Cyril Nemeth, and Dr Sir Liam Donaldson

Dr Sir Liam Donaldson, in his address asserted that it was impossible to overstate the importance of the dedication, determination and hard work of Rotarians around the world in working towards the eradication of the disease over the past 30 years. He expressed his confidence that the goal would be achieved.

The High Commissioner of Pakistan expressed his appreciation of the work of Rotarians in eradicating the disease in his country, and confirmed that his country’s government were still determined to become polio-free. 

Rotary International main board director Allan O Jagger reaffirmed Rotary’s commitment to the goal and brought the very latest figures to the event. declaring the total number of cases in 2012 as at the 29th August 2012 was just 128 (compared to 356 for the same period in 2011). When the project was started, the number of cases were typically 1,000 every day.

The team managers then introduced their team members,giving a little background about their athletic careers and about their disability. Many paralympic athletes have suffered from polio at some stage in their lives.

The Paralympic Team from Niger pose in front of some of the black and white photos that were lots in the auction held at the event.

The event closed with an auction, to raise funds for the Polio Eradication Campaign, and also to provide financial support for the Pakistani Paralympic Team Members. Lots sold included an autographed rowing shirt, a limited edition print on the theme of the paralympic games, and a large selection of black and white, and colour photographs that were autographed by the paralympians.

This was a key public event to publicise Rotary International’s key role in eradicating polio, and it was entirely appropriate that Rotary in London was chosen to act as hosts for the event by Rotary International. Despite a gusty wind in the garden, all the equipment worked exactly as required, and £3,300 was raised from the auction. All told it was a most successful afternoon that showed Rotary in London in an ideal light.