sábado, 24 de outubro de 2009


In the 1st of July of 1979 James L. Bomar Jr., of Shelbyville in Tennessee, started his work as RI president. The Rotary Board approved then the amount of US$760 000 to co-help the administration of the OPV (the oral polio vaccine, of Sabin), in the first 3 H project that would immunize one million children in the Philippines.
But before that it was necessary to obtain the authorization of the Philippine government. Bomar, his Aid Charles Keller, past director of RI, and the new director born in the Philippines, Mat Caparas (both of them would become RI presidents), were greeted at the Presidential Palace in Manila by the Chief of State Ferdinand Marcos. It was a very cordial meeting. But when the subject turned entirely to the authorization for the immunization project Marcos said: «I have nothing to do with that sort of things. You have to deal with my wife in that matter. She is the Minister of Interior».
The circumstances were favorable for them to get right away a meeting with Imelda Marcos. But at the schedule time for the reception to take place she didn’t appear. When it was finally possible to approach her, she was beside herself. She brandished Time Magazine that had published a critical article about the Philippine regime. «Look what you Americans are saying about me and my husband! Why should I do something to help you when you spread these lies?». Not without great effort, and speaking of the American freedom of the press, impossible for the government to control, of the fact that Rotary is not an American organization and stressing still the importance of her signature to make a difference between the live and death of millions of children in her country, although reluctant she gave the necessary permission.
Jim Bomar administered the first dose of vaccine by pressing two drops of the liquid in a little child’s tongue. As he ended doing it he saw tears in the eyes of the mother. And felt a pull in his trousers leg. He looked down and saw one of the crippled young men who crawled, one of those who had been paralyzed by polio. «Thank you», said the boy. «Thank you, thank you!» And paused, as if trying to remember the next word, «Rotary». Then from the dust he raised his whitish arm pointed to the baby to whom Bomar had just given the vaccine. «My sister», he said with a sparkling smile of pride.
Nobody knew it then, but that little child was destined to have a very intense effect in the future development of Rotary.
Shortly before, the children from the Italian schools had contributed with the money from their snacks to the children of the Philippine schools, through the efforts of the past district Governor Sérgio Mulitsch and of the new Rotary Club of Treviglio e della Pianura Bergamasca. It was possible to buy half a million doses of OPV
(To be continued in E)
Henrique Pinto
October 09 in World Polio Day
PHOTOS: Imelda Marcos (she resisted a lot to the polio immunization in Phillipines because she was angry with the American Time Magazin; Most of European Advocacy Advisors Meetings for Polio Eradication are hold in the beautiful city of Zurich, Switzerland

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário