A New Campaign for a Polio-Free Pakistan

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Feb 052014
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr Jewat Sunder with children in a village in Khipro Sindh is reading the audio book about polio. (Photo: Malik Ayub Sumbal)

“This is the story of a family who lives in a village. Rahim Ullah is 13 years old, his sister Batool is 10, and his brother Gullu is only 4. Their parents work hard so they can stay healthy. But their neighbour Amina died because of polio.”

Rahmi Ullah vows to protect his brother and sister from polio.

“Polio is a disease that attacks small children. The virus spreads quickly and it paralyses kids for the rest of their life and sometimes even takes their life. “

The story is part of the audio book “A Story of Health” narrated in Urdu and Pashto, published by the humanitarian group, the Pakistan Rotary International.

The group’s chief, Aziz Memon, says it’s a perfect book for a country with many illiterate people like Pakistan.

“This was the idea of Rotarians in South Carolina, in the US. They came up with the idea, we took it forward, design the book. “The Story of Health” is focused on polio.”

Pakistan is currently one of only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic.

Last year, more than 80 polio cases were reported and half were from the Khyber Pukthunkwa province.

The ruling Pakistan Threek-e-Insaaf party is now running a high profile campaign to eradicate polio.

Led by party leader Imran Khan, the campaign aims to vaccinate more than 2 million children in the province in the coming months.

Khan has been joined by radical cleric Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, known as the “Father of the Taliban”.

In the past few years, health workers were targeted and even killed by the Taliban for giving polio vaccinations.

But now Khan is calling all parents to immunize their children, saying that the vaccination complies with Islamic law.

Religious scholar Moulvi Dost Muhammad supports the claim.

“There’s nothing bad or wrong with polio drops. And there’s widespread propaganda by non-state actors to make this vaccination campaign controversial. The world has already eradicated polio, but we are still among the last ones to do so.”

Some 80 thousand children in the Khyber Pakthunkwa province did not receive oral polio vaccines last year.

As a polio vaccinator in Peshawar, Ahmed Mustafa supports the new campaign.

“We will completely eradicate polio from Pakistan. And 2014 will be the last year for polio as the government has kick-started a progressive campaign with the help of religious scholars.”

The distribution of 5,000 copies of the polio audio book has raised hopes that Pakistan will soon be polio-free.

Mahira Khan, a mother from Islamabad, is ready to tell her children a story from the book.

“This is a great idea from Rotary International – to give a strong message to children through music and story books. This is designed with young kids in mind.”

Rotary’s War on Polio: How Are We Doing?

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Jan 192014
 

end polio nowThey said it was a near impossible task – yet on January 13, 2014 India will be Polio free for 3 years. Rotarians and their partners WHO, Unicef, CDC and Governments World wide take their final step towards a Polio Free world and a medical milestone.

  • India will reach a great milestone in polio eradication on 13 January – three years since its last case of wild poliovirus! India was once thought to be the most difficult country in which to achieve polio eradication.
  • The Executive Board (EB) will meet in Geneva on 20-25 January. Ahead of the EB 134th session, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) published the report: “Poliomyelitis: intensification of the global eradication initiative”. The full report is available in English and French here.
India Wild Polio Virus Total as on January 8, 2014 : – Continues to REMAINS at Nil.  A Historic 3 years onJanuary 14, 2014 without reporting any case of Polio.

Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update as on – January 8, 2014 –  World Wide as Reported by WHO:

New Wild Polio Virus case reported in the past week World Wide for 2013: 3 (2 From Pakistan & 1 from Afghanistan)

1 New Case of  WPV1 was reported from Afghanistan (This is the first case reported from the southern part of the country in 2013. All other WPV1 cases are reported from Eastern Region, close to the Pakistan border).

No New  Case of WPV were reported from Nigeria.

2 New Case of WPV1 was reported from Pakistan,

No New Cases of WPV was reported from Somalia

No New Case of WPV was reported from Kenya

No New Cases of WPV was reported from Ethiopia

No New Case of WPV was reported from Cameroon.

No New Cases of WPV was reported from Syria,

Total Wild Polio cases reported in 2012: 223

Total Wild Polio cases reported as on  January 8, 2014 move to : 372 (compared with 222 for the same period in 2012)

Total in endemic countries in 2013: 148 (compared with 216  for the same period in 2012)

Total in non-endemic countries in 2013: 224 (compared with 6 for the same period in 2012)

OFFICIALLY REPORTED WILD VIRUS CASES ON January 8, 2014 in Endemic Countries:  Move to 148

Afghanistan: 12 cases in 2013 (compared with 37 for the same period in 2012)

Nigeria: 51 cases in 2013 (compared with 121 for the same period in 2012)

Pakistan: 85 cases in 2013 (compared with 58 for the same period in 2012)

OFFICIALLY REPORTED WILD VIRUS CASES ON January 8, 2014  in Importation Countries remain at 224.

Kenya: 14 case in 2013 (compared with 0 for the same period in 2012)

Somalia: 183 case in 2013 (compared with 0 for the same period in 2012)

Chad: 0 case in 2013 (compared with 5 for the same period in 2012)

Ethiopia: 6 case in 2013 (compared with 0 for the same period in 2012)

Cameroon: 4 Cases in 2013 (compared with 0 for the same period in 2012)

Syrian Arab Republic: 17 Cases in 2013 (compared with 0 for the same period in 2012)

cVDPV Poliovirus Weekly Update as on – January 8, 2014 –  World Wide as Reported by WHO.

No new cVDPV cases were reported in the past week.

India Polio NID Dates:

Sunday January 19, 2014 (Booth day followed by 4 days of House to House immunization).

Sunday February 23, 2014 (Booth day followed by 4 days of House to House immunization).

 

Rotary and UNICEF Launch Speaking Book

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Nov 172013
 

Rotary International and UNICEF Pakistan, partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 1988, launched the Speaking Book titled ‘A Story of Health’ to mark World Polio Day.

The ceremony for the launch was held on October 25th in the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, the building renowned for its aesthetics and beauty.

A Story of Health or Sehat ki Kahani is an educational tool for community workers to engage with women, children and fathers to tell them of better sanitation and hygiene and ensure people know the importance of vaccines, in the prevention of diseases.

The Chief Guest at the ceremony was Senior Minister for Education Sindh Mr. Nisar Ahmed Khuhro.

The Master of Ceremonies Zubair Anwar Bawany – UNICEF called upon PP Owais Kohari – RCK Karsaz to begin the evening with Tilawat.

The District Governor Dr. Pir Syed Ibrahim Shah gave a regional perspective of having no polio case in Balochistan since last year with three from Sindh. He requested Rotarians for renewed efforts to eradicate polio from Pakistan just as they have been instrumental in polio eradication worldwide, taking the lead from Manila in the Philippines, which later expanded to a global initiative.

Dr. Andro Shilakadze – Chief Field Office, UNICEF Sindh, thanked Rotary for this collaboration on the book. He said UNICEF is proud to be part of this innovative initiative. He was pleased the book launch involved school children. His offered UNICEF’s continued support to eradicate polio and educate Pakistan children. He commended Pakistanis for their resilience and commitment to education.

The National Chair, Polio Plus Committee Aziz Memon talked about the global collaboration amongst partners for the development and production of the speaking book. He mentioned The Speaking Books is pioneered by a Rotarian in South Carolina, USA. The book has been sponsored by Rotary International, designed in South Africa, illustrations and voice over and storyline were completed in Pakistan and finally printed in China. He said a lot of thought and creative effort has gone into producing these speaking books to reach out to Pushtun speaking communities in KPK, FATA and Karachi. The National Chair also pointed out that literacy is the first step towards polio eradication. He mentioned, Sri Lanka wiped out polio 20 years ago, because of 100% literacy level; similarly countries with high literacy have managed to eradicate polio fairly soon.

Senior Minister for Education Mr. Nisar Ahmed Khuhro lauded Rotary and UNICEF’s initiative. He wanted Rotary to provide books to the government secondary schools of Pakistan. He said education is the key to polio eradication and they must jointly work toward this goal. He also talked about Benazir Bhutto, spearheading the polio campaigns during her first tenure. Similarly he mentioned Aseefa Bhutto as the Polio Ambassador in Pakistan and her contribution to the program.

Followed by the speeches, the National Chair officially launched the Speaking Book and presented to the Chief Guest, along with Dr. Altaf Bosan – National Coordinator/Technical Focal Person, Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring & Coordination Cell, Islamabad and PDGs. A few pages from A Story of Health were read out by Dr. Bosan to the children, who sat huddled around him in the garden, listening attentively.

A life size book on display was signed by all the participants at the ceremony. Refreshments were served to the guests and children. Children from the local school were given polio mobilization items in the form of pencils, badges and plastic mugs.

From the PolioPlus Pakistan Newsletter

Read the full version here:

PolioPlus Newsletter October 2013

Triple Your Money to End Polio Now

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Oct 302013
 

end polio now

The Gates Foundation has offered Rotary a match of $2 for $1 to continue to eradicate this disease. The goal is for the World to be certified Polio Free by the year 2018.

Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013–2018 

The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013–2018 is a comprehensive, long-term strategy that addresses what is needed to deliver a polio-free world by 2018. The plan was developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in consultation with national health authorities, global health initiatives, scientific experts, donors and other stakeholders, in response to a directive of the World Health Assembly.

The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 addresses the eradication of all polio disease, whether caused by wild poliovirus or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus, while planning for the backbone of the polio effort to be used for delivering other health services to the world’s most vulnerable children.

The Plan has four objectives.

 Detect and interrupt all poliovirus transmission

 Strengthen immunization systems and withdraw oral polio vaccine

 Contain poliovirus and certify interruption of transmission

 Plan polio’s legacy

– See more at: http://www.polioeradication.org/Resourcelibrary/Strategyandwork.aspx#sthash.SrbuJKnd.dpuf 

Incoming Rotary International Vice President Anne Matthews Visits DC

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May 212013
 

Incoming Rotary International Vice President (and District 7770’s own) Anne Matthews visited Washington DC to raise awareness for Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio worldwide. She lobbied Congressional leaders for continued federal support for this vital Rotary program. Here she is with Senator Tim Scott (R, SC).

anne matthews, tim scott, senator tim scott, anne matthews rotary international, end polio now, rotary international, rotary international end polio now

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