Turning the tide in Pakistan

Rotarians are in the forefront of the drive to implement Pakistan’s National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication 2011.

The Rotary Club of Lahore Sharqi (East) distributed posters throughout the city to announce the NIDs. – Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hanif Khilji

The government launched the emergency plan in January, in response to a sharp increase in polio cases in the country in 2010.

Turning the tide against the disease in Pakistan is pivotal to the success of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative . Pakistan was the only one of the world’s four polio-endemic countries – the others are Afghanistan, India, and Nigeria – to see an increase in cases last year: 144 compared with 89 in 2009.

Rotarians assigned by the Pakistan PolioPlus Committee are mobilizing Rotary clubs to provide support in the country’s four provinces. Rotarians are helping to immunize children against polio and to raise public awareness of the disease.

Club members are working “to cover every nook and corner of the country,” says Aziz Memon, chair of the committee. “We are committed to a polio-free Pakistan.”

Rotarians are also advocating for polio eradication among officials at all levels of government, as well as religious leaders and others.

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