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Rotary Club earns praise for fight against polio

Special Advisor to President Nana Akufo-Addo on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr. Eugene Owusu, has praised Rotarians in Ghana and around the world for their fight against polio globally.

Delivering a keynote address at a breakfast meeting organized by the Rotary Club of Accra – Airport, Dr. Owusu lauded the bold vision inspired by Rotary International and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and enshrined in the 1988 World Health Organisation Resolution to eradicate polio.

The breakfast meeting, held on Thursday, October 24, was in commemoration of the World Polio Day 2019.

World Polio Day is marked each year on October 24 to commemorate Jonas Salk, who invented the Inactivated Polio Vaccine.

Dr Eugene Owusu

According to him, the evidence of that vision is that polio cases have dropped by an incredible 99.9 percent.

That, he said, has saved some 18 million children from life-shattering paralysis from this terrible disease.

“This equates to a whopping average of over 580,000 children every year saved from the direct and horrendous impact of polio,” he noted.

Dr Eugene Owusu added that “the power of big vision backed by smart actions and delivery in implementation has indeed become the hallmark of Rotary Clubs everywhere.”

He noted that since 1979, Rotary International has contributed almost $2 billion and countless volunteers to the fight against polio.”

Whilst money surely matters, it is not just about the money that Rotary provides, but increasingly it is the power of your influence; spurring on governments and philanthropy to scale up its investments towards polio eradication, he added.

The “Arise for Polio” Keynote speaker explained “the thing is clear, which is that the solid progress that the world has seen in the past decades in addressing polio has been achieved as a partnership with many organisations – notably governments and the United Nations agencies. But I will stick my neck out and state that the phenomenal progress achieved is and will always be an enduring and a singular legacy of Rotary’s leadership and its efforts.”

Challenges

He observed that whilst there is no cure for this debilitating disease, in today’s world polio is avoidable because there is a safe and effective vaccine against it.

According to him, despite the success that science and medicine have brought to bear on the fight against polio, “we know why our world has not been able to eradicate this scourge.”

Extreme poverty, regressive customary norms and beliefs, conflict and internecine warfare, misguided fears, often fanned by depraved propaganda by extremists for political or religious reasons, weak health systems and in some case geography, that makes it difficult for isolated areas to be reached are holding back efforts to reach Polio Zero, he mentioned.

On his part, President of the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport (RCAA) Kofi Adu-Mensah, revealed that one of Rotary’s current fundraising events was dubbed: The World’s Greatest Meal’ which Rotary Clubs are using to raise funds for the “End Polio Account”.

In 2018, he said, the initial target was $1 million, saying that amount was overachieved by $23,000.

The RCAA President added that there are 675 events registered in 51 countries with more than 23, 700 participants worldwide. He however, called for more support to “end polio now”.

History Of Rotary Club Accra-Airport

The Rotary Club of Accra Airport (RCAA) was chartered by the Rotary Club of Accra North in April 2000 with 22 charter members and with Harry Owusu as Charter President.
Nicknamed the Millennium Club, its foundations were based on fun, camaraderie and service to the communities.

The club currently has 61 members from varied professional backgrounds.

It has seven major donors and is a 100% sustaining member club

RCAA has chartered one Rotaract Club – the Rotaract Club of Central University and two Interact Clubs in Association International School and the East Airport International School.
The club’s creativity in fundraising was demonstrated when in 2012 it launched a $250,000 Foundation as a funding base for its future projects.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

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