sábado, 24 de outubro de 2009


The second day of the International Convention in Philadelphia, on 24 March 1988, is remembered as one of the most exciting moments of the first Rotary century. The Civic Center auditorium was more than full when Maddocks began calling to the stage each one of the 44 president national/multinational. The lights around the auditorium had been turned off. Every time each Rotary country announced the results of its fund raise a bulb would light for each 800 000 children that could now be immunized. It was a day when even president Keller shouted. Just like thousands of Rotarians did along with him. It was, like Keller declared and was stated in the commemorative certificate delivered to everyone present «The most precious hour of Rotary».
During the Convention the WHO made a proposition to change in a very ambitious way the purpose of polio control to eradication in the year 2000 (with the certification for later), if Rotary could compete to that. After a quick consultation with directors, trustees, leaders of the campaign and of Task force, president Keller reaffirmed the participation and commitment of Rotary in the purpose.
For 12 years William Sergeant and the PolioPlus International Commission, with a constant infusion of Rotarians in a wave of inclusion, harmony and experienced PolioPlus leaders, managed and carefully distributed Rotarian funds for the vaccines, National Immunization Days (NIDs), epidemiological surveillance, development of laboratories and program administration. They developed a work of efficient and harmonious relationship with the WHO, UNICEF, and the CDC. Furthermore, they created an active advocacy program to encourage the participation of the world governments, lately directed by the past vice-president of RI, Doctor Robert S. Scott, to which I had the great honor of being successively invited by chairmen Glen Kinross, James Lacy and Carlo Ravizza, Luís Vicente Giay, Frank Devlyn, «Bob» Scott and Glenn Estess Sr.
In order to keep the Rotarians involved RI created the PolioPlus Partnership Program. Gradually clubs were being able to deal with the projects of services to the world community, and from now on, individuals, clubs and districts might choose a specific need and finance it.
At the 2002 International Assembly the chairman of the Rotary Foundation, Luis Vicente Giay, launched the challenge Lets Fulfil our promise, eradicate polio, as a mean to achieve an extra financing of US$80 million and therefore suppress the deficit of the Campaign and of the Rotary Foundation, still shaken by the financial crash of the post-11 September. That was widely surpassed in 2002-03, reaching the US$130 million in June 2004. Rotary had committed so far more than US$500 million to vaccinate the world’s children against polio. This last effort was conducted by the president of RI Bhichai Rattakul with the collaboration of the chairman of the Rotary Foundation Glenn Kinross, of the trustees Luis Vicente Giay – appointed president to the materialization of this goal - and James Lacy, Herbert Pigman, Robert S. Scott, from Cobourg, Ontario, in Canada, Louis Piconi, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Jack Blane, besides the staff campaign of fund raising to the eradication of polio of the RI, under the direction of John Osterlund.
The effort of fundraising exceeded the most cherished dreams at Rotary.
(To be continued in H)

Henrique Pinto
October 09 in World Polio Day
PHOTOS: A NID in Africa, I've been in some of them, but here I'll publish only photos from one of them, in Angola (here, Henrique Pinto with Manuel João and Ruth Madureira Pires, after visiting an ill child dieing with Malaria, urgently sent to central hospital by helicopter); Henrique Pinto and Felizardo Cota, fundraiser for Polio at the time, and Luis Vicente Giay, in Portugal; Glen Kinross in Salzburg (we can see Júlio Sorjús behind him)

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