Rotary Clubs around the World have taken to the streets with different activities to launch the nationwide campaign against the Disease.
Members of over thirty Rotary clubs staged a walk on major roads calling for the sustenance of the Zero Status of Polio in Nigeria.
President of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Precious Ahiakwo-Ovie said the eradication of polio is one of Rotary International’s longest-standing and most significant efforts.
“Rotary is an international community that brings together leaders who step up to take on the world’s toughest challenges, locally and globally. The eradication of polio is one of our longest-standing and most significant efforts. Along with our partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide and we won’t stop until we end the disease for good,” she said.
Meanwhile, the President of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt City Valley Chinomso Ogbuefi has asked Nigerians to rally around Poliomyelitis survivors in the country.
The Rotarian President, Chinomso Ogbuefi made the plea during the presentation of the sum of two hundred thousand naira empowerment grants to some Polio survivors for trades and small-scale business.
He said despite the fact that Nigeria is now Polio free, there is a need to rehabilitate the survivors.
“Poliomyelitis is not a death sentence. Now that Nigeria is polio-free, we should take care of the survivors and sustain our preventive measures. This is why members of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt City Valley have decided to empower some survivors with N200, 000 capital for trades and small-scale business. We believe the survivors have a right to life too. We are hopeful that they will succeed in their various trades.”
On his part, Project Service Director of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt City Valley, Rotarian Afolabi Uba said the club was fulfilling one of the seven areas of focus of Rotary International with the empowerment, “We want these survivors to live a normal life. We don’t want them to beg on the streets for anything. We discovered that they are talented and we are empowering them to be useful to themselves and the society,” he said.
It will be recalled that Nigeria is the latest country to have officially stopped endemic transmission of wild poliovirus, with its last reported case in 2016. Wild poliovirus has been eradicated in all continents except Asia, and as of 2020, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries where the disease is still classified as endemic
World Polio Day is celebrated every year on 24 October. It was initiated by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who developed a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
The theme for the 2021 celebration is “One Day. One Focus: Ending Polio.