sábado, 24 de outubro de 2009


Carol Belamy, then executive director of UNICEF, declared in March 2004 that «if polio was stopped in Somalia», a country without a central government, «it can be stopped everywhere, a success that proves the will of the Somali people and the efficiency of the strategies on the field to stop the virus». In November, in the meeting with Glenn Estess Sr., RI President, rejoiced in her enthusiasm saying that «the success of our partnership proves that the private sector can and should work with the organizations of the public sector in global projects, to mobilize resources, lower the costs and obtain the best results in the field».
«If you hadn’t started the PolioPlus Program in 1985», said once Dr Alberto Sabin to the Rotarians, «by the 100th anniversary in 2005 there would be more than eight million children with polio and probably around 800000 deaths during that period of time». His oral vaccine had saved millions of helpless children.
A seaquake like the one on Southeast Asia, of incalculable consequences for a long, long time, or any other catastrophe natural or induced by man, may or not, as in Sisyphus’ story, restart the concern. The resources are always scarce to help everyone in need. But in billions of times in the life of a single human being, the end is always a beginning.
Now the most important is not the new respectability that Rotary won at a global scale. It is not even by the way the PolioPlus Program broadened the horizons of the Rotarians, who began to see service opportunities beyond the selections at their clubs. The most important are the children whose names we will never know but whose lives were protected and improved. It’s the two billion children saved from iron lungs, premature deaths or a lifetime with their legs wrapped in prosthesis. For each one of the mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers saying in 100 languages precisely what Jim Bomar heard when he vaccinated that first child. «Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Rotary!»
Henrique Pinto
October 09 in World Polio Day
PHOTOS: a group of outstanding Rotarians leaded by Henrique Pinto in Angola, here in the rebels headquarters (identifeid Henrique Pinto, arguing with the rebel colonel Tomé, Sylvia Nagy, Ruth and Manuel João Madureira Pires, and, in the corner, Carlos Lança); Manuel Martins Costa (Portugal), Flavio Mendliovitz (Brazil) and Christine Mcnabe, WHO Geneva (Canada) in a Polio Seminar organized in Portugal by Henrique Pinto (2002); my friends François and his wife, Catherine Noyer Riveau, current RI director, Monty Audenard, RI former vice-president (Canada) and my colleague Hector, from Argentina, when we got dinner together in USA, 2005

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