Arte, Social, Política e Vida em todo o seu cortejo, para todos, em qualquer lugar, seja qual for a língua,
Arts, Social, Policy and Life concerns, to everybody, everywhere, in any language
quarta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2009
FIGHTING POLIO WITH URGENCY AND HOPE
The Rotary year we have just begun, will be pivotal in determining the course of our Foundation in this, Rotary's second century of service. There are new challenges before us, challenges that we must rise to meet in order to keep the promises we have made. The first of those promises, of course, is to eradicate polio. This is our number-one priority as an organization, and it will remain so until the job is done. Last year, more than 1,600 cases of the disease were identified around the world. This is a great improvement from the worst days of polio epidemics, which many of us remember from decades ago. But it is not good enough, and it will not be good enough until the number is zero. We cannot pause or slacken our efforts. We know all too well what happens when we do not reach every child. We saw it in Nigeria in 2003 and have seen it again in the Horn of Africa. In March, Rotary approved US$500,000 in emergency grants to UNICEF and the World Health Organization to help contain the outbreak of wild poliovirus that had spread from war-torn South Sudan into parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. This funding allowed for increased immunization activities in the three countries affected by the spread, and separate rounds of immunization have continued in South Sudan to halt the source of the outbreak. We are optimistic that this outbreak will be contained, and remain confident in the viability of eradication. These recent events only serve to highlight the importance of our continued work. It is not enough merely to keep the number of new outbreaks low. We must bring it to zero.
(Portuguese Translation under this message, titled Combater a Polio com Urgência e Esperança)
Glenn E. Estess Sr. Foundation Trustee Chair
PHOTOS: Itzak Perlman Concert for Polio; Glenn Estess Sr. and Örsçelik Balkan, Lisbon Institute 05