Recognising the real heros

On behalf of frontline polio workers everywhere

20131111_Hero
Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, UN Foundation Board Member and Former Director-General of the World Health Organization; and Martha Dodray, a frontline polio worker from Bihar, India UN Foundation

Until this month, frontline polio worker Martha Dodray had never left her home state of Bihar, let alone India. But on 6 November, Martha was a guest of honour at the United Nation Foundation’s Global Leadership Dinner in New York City – alongside the UN Secretary-General, Malala Yousafzai, and other leading figures from the health and development sector.

Martha Dodray had been invited to the prestigious dinner to receive a Global Leadership Award on behalf of the more than 20 million health workers and volunteers who have been involved in efforts to eradicate polio. These polio heroes often work through the midday heat, travel long distances and sometimes face deadly insecurity just to ensure that children are protected against polio.

Introducing Martha and inviting her to the stage on behalf of polio workers around the world, Dr Gro Brundtland, UN Foundation Board Member and Former Director-General of the World Health Organization, said the following:

“I don’t use the word ‘hero’ lightly. That’s what they are. Thanks to their efforts, the number of polio-endemic countries has dropped from 125 in 1988 to just three this year. The number of cases, from 350,000 in ’88, to just 223 in 2012.”

The crowd broke into rapturous applause.

Related


Related News

   15/01/2018
To eradicate polio, we need to stop all strains of the virus, including vaccine-derived polioviruses. This short animation explains how these rare virus strains emerge and how to stop them.
   15/01/2018
Update on polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan for December 2017
   09/01/2018
We join Dr Urs Herzog, Rotarian, polio eradicator, National PolioPlus Advocacy Advisor for Rotary Switzerland and polio survivor himself, as he explains the financial costs of the programme and why it is critical that we eradicate every trace of the virus.
   29/12/2017
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is partnering with institutions in seven countries to help document and disseminate knowledge from the polio programme
   21/12/2017
Carolyn Sein, Technical Officer for the GPEI programme, talks to us about circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses, and the important differences between oral polio vaccine, and inactivated polio vaccine.
   21/12/2017
Professor David Salisbury, chair of the Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis, talks us through the process of certifying the world as polio-free, and the importance of containing the virus after eradication.