A tale of three brothers

Rotarian assistance provides rehabilitation

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Shahid Afridi meets the two brothers Najibullah and Naqeebullah, both of whom have polio. Rotary Pakistan

19 September – With such a focus on vaccinating the last one per cent of the world’s children, it is easy to forget the work that is being done to help those children who have survived the incurably crippling poliovirus. For Najeebullah (18) and Naqeebullah (15), two brothers living in the polio sanctuary of Gadap Town, however, the Rotary Club of Karachi has been instrumental in enabling them to best overcome the virus and meet Pakistan’s cricketing legend, Shahid Afridi.

The two brothers, originally from Mazhar-e-Shareef in Northern Afghanistan, were afflicted with polio when they were 14 and 11 years of age respectively. The third child in the family has been vaccinated against the virus to ensure he does not suffer the same fate as his brothers.

After receiving treatment and therapy for 40 days at a rehabilitation hospital in Saddar Town, Karachi, the older brothers regained some mobility in their hands and legs. At Rotary Club of Karachi’s artificial Limb Project Community Centre, they were both fitted with prosthetic limbs free of charge thanks to the donations of Pakistani Rotarians.

The 5000 artificial limbs and calipers the centre provides free of cost every year to polio victims and amputees is not the only service offered by Rotary’s Community Centre. There is also a permanent limbs workshop at the centre, a gym, an eye clinic, a permanent immunization centre for the surrounding population, and activities such as computer classes.

At the end of July, the brothers were invited to a Polio workshop in Karachi, organized to inform Presidents of Rotary Clubs in Karachi of the current polio status in Pakistan. Here, they shook hands with Pakistan hero, Shahid Afridi. According to ESPN, ‘cricket never has and never will see another’ like Afridi. Indeed, ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi has already vaccinated children personally as part of the promotional campaign, which has seen the cricketer’s face displayed on the side of hundreds of rickshaws which roam all areas of Karachi.

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