quarta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2009


«Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that
he can»

Henry Drummond

Four endemic countries - India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria - four different reasons for the endemicity. In Nigeria what is wanted is the political commitment for universal outreach, in Pakistan it is the quality of operations, while in Afghanistan it is obviously security concerns and questions of accessibility. In India, there is a need for improving the environmental conditions to improve the chances of the vaccine staying long enough in the child's intestines to create a sufficient number of antibodies.
Every year diarrhoea kills nearly 1.6 million children worldwide less than 5 years of age. Diseases that have high profiles and vocal activists such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria attract far more interest and money from big donors and governments, based partly on the mistaken belief that they kill the most children. Diarrhoea kills more children than either malaria or AIDS. As many as 5 million children reportedly lose their lives because of diarrhoea in India annually.
Now the onus of making diarrhoea a priority in the government's agenda through «Zinc & ORS» campaign lies on us. Rotary can be a powerful voice in lobbying governments of the state, and demanding that they pay more attention to reducing the incidence of diarrhoea, just as it has done, with success, in advocating for Polio Eradication Programme in the past. In fact, Rotary leaders can help in curbing the problem at the root. It can be done at 5 levels - advocacy, social mobilization, IEC campaign, media campaign and camps. Recently, Rotary has signed a MoU with IAP to implement the strategy jointly.
The primary result of the campaign should be that as much awareness should be created regarding the usage of Zinc and ORS during diarrhea as possible. Secondly, the campaign should place the control of diarrhea at the top of the priority list of the health departments of the state. Lastly, it should promote the implementation of the recommendation by the the Ministry of Health, Government of India, regarding the use of Zinc tablets along with Oral Rehydration Therapy during diarrhoea.
Investing in «Zinc & ORS» campaign is going to pay rich dividends in terms of reduction in the number of incidents of diarrhoea and hence, the creation of a better chance for OPV to have greater efficacy.
In our long-drawn battle, you can utilize the new weapon of «'Zinc and ORS» campaign to create a better chance for the Oral Polio Vaccine to finally defeat our old foe, Polio.

(the Portuguese translation is under this statement, named «Combater a Polio com Urgência e Esperança», by Henrique Pinto)

Deepak Kapur

In National Orientation and Planning Meet 2009-10, held this year in New Delhi, India, 7 – 8 August, published in Rotary PolioPlus Update, August 09

PHOTOS: Robert Scot, physician, musician and good friend; Samuel Okuseto from Ghana (left), Alfredo Pretoni, from Brazil (centre) and Henrique Pinto from Portugal (right), distinguished in the Chicago Convention, 2005, with the Polio Award, fot their work against Polio in the world; Robert Scot, former TRF chair, now International PolioPlus Committee, here distinguishing the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali, attended the India Polio Plus Committee Annual Meeting this year

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