Rotary raises funds to end polio
The District Governor of Rotary International District 9110, Rotn. Wale Ogunbadejo, at the weekend revealed that the Rotary Foundation has spent more than $3 billion over the past 100 years on life-changing sustainable projects across the world. He made this known during the foundation’s dinner/dance in Lagos, a forum, which was used to raise more funds for charity.
According to him, over the past 30 years, the foundation has spent more that $1.7 billion on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. “We have reduced the scourge of polio from about 350,000 paralyzed children yearly in 1988 to only 22 cases last year; and from 125 countries in 1988 to only three countries left with the disease. More than 16 million people have been saved from the paralysis and more than 2.5 billion children have been immunized so far.
“We have a budget of $1.5 billion for the end polio phase of the war but we have only $1.2 billion as pledges, with $300 million shortfall, if all pledges are fulfilled. We must show our support for funding, advocacy and our physical participation in the war efforts,” he said.
Past District Governor, Dr. Deinde Shoga, said: “We are succeeding in the war to end polio. Indeed, we are very close. But while we are winning, there are several neglected communities around us and in other parts of the world who have unmet needs, Rotary Club, through the foundation, is rising to the occasion.”
Guest speaker and former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, emphasised good governance as a panacea to poverty reduction. He said: “There is a large gap between the rich and the poor. The rate of poverty is quite high. We must be concerned and do everything possible to bridge the gap.”
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