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Rotary pledges commitment to polio eradication


District Governor, Rotary International District 9110, Dr. Adewale Ogunbanjo, (middle), and members of the district, at a visit to The Guardian in Lagos

• Spends $1.7 billion to fight disease globally

The District 9110 Governor of Rotary Club, Wale Ogunbadejo, has pledged the commitment of the cub to the eradication of polio in the country. He made the pledge yesterday when he visited the corporate headquarters of The Guardian in Lagos.

According to him, Nigeria is one of the only three countries infected with polio in the world. He explained that a case of polio anywhere is a danger to the whole world, which is why efforts must be made to immunise every child in the country. He stressed that this must be done within the two years period left for Nigeria to be declared non-epidemic.

According to him, in terms of polio eradication campaign, Rotary has spent $1.7billion globally to fight the disease, adding that each Rotarian in Nigeria would still contribute towards the eradication.


He, however, disclosed that they have some enormous challenges in the process, as they cannot enter certain places in the Muslim communities in the north because they are men.

Ogunbadejo added that Rotary has spent so much money to recruit some women volunteers who are neither Rotary members nor health workers, to be trained to administer the vaccines.

He said even in accessing some areas where there is war, they also ensure that the soldiers involved in the immunisation are females.

Notwithstanding, he said the process is now easier as the emirs and community heads have given them support, contrary to the old order where they had operated independently.

The district governor disclosed that after polio, the club would shift its emphasis to malaria eradication, adding: “Malaria kills more than any other diseases in the world, it kills more than HIV and TB combined.”

Ogunbade pleaded with parents to allow their children of less than five years to get the polio immunisation, as a child’s dream would be limited when he is paralysed. He said there are structures and outlets in every local government for the exercise, especially the Type 1 virus.

Rotary Field Coordinator, Southwest, Olugbenga Olayiwole, disclosed that there had not been any case of polio Type II virus since 2012, as the Type II of the virus have been declared completely eradicated in the country.

He explained that all Type II cases were successfully treated with vaccines, adding that some treatments that need to be done through injections would soon be introduced.

But, globally because of the conflict in Syria, significant cases are found there. “As we get toward the end of the eradication, we have only few number of polio cases,” he said.

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