How is Nigeria Rotary reacting to polio flareup?

Nigerian Rotarians pose with local victims of polio and wheelchairs donated by a Maryland Rotary Club.


A group of Rotary Clubs in the area of Lagos and its suburbs in northern Nigeria just carried out a polio walk across several communities to mark World Polio Week. Despite the belief that the African nation was polio free, several cases recently were reported in the area that had been in the hands of Boko Harum terrorists who forbade immunization.

Eboigbe Olaiye, assistant governor of District 9110 which covers Lagos and nearby cities,  said the purpose of the walk was to create awareness of polio. He called on parents to take their children to the nearest primary health center for polio immunization, while urging the national government to create more awareness and emphasize to people living in rural areas that the vaccine is free.

Santoch Kakade, chairman of Rotary’s Polio Service and Blood Donation, said the sudden outbreak of polio requires renewed sensitization in Nigeria.

District 9110 last Saturday brought together students from various schools with a target of 4,500 to break the Guinness Book of World Records’ human mosaic record of 4,200  people. Dr. Tunki Funsho, chairman of Nigeria’s National Polio Plus Committee and a past district governor, said the effort was to create more awareness towards eradication of polio in Nigeria.

In a related development, the Rotary Club of Amuwo also staged an awareness campaign through the media on plans to eradicate the disease. It called on members of the public to donate funds to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Club President Aniekan Essienette said, “Our call to action is to enlighten the public to report any new case of limb weakness among children up to age 15 to the local council authorities or World Health Organization (WHO) close to them.”

The Rotary Leadership Institute Class of 2016 flashes the “This Close” Rotary sign in its fight against polio. SRC members in the photo are Bill Dowd (3rd from left) and Debbie Rodriguez (3rd from right) in the top row. The photo was shot during the recent RLI graduation ceremony at Siena College.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s