At our August meeting Veronica and Adrian Stabbins gave a talk with a video presentation about the work of Rotary International and their Eradicate polio campaign Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. Veronica and Adrian have volunteered in India several times and their video explained the process. India has a specific day when volunteers and Indian health workers set out to vaccinate all the children under five throughout the country – a daunting task. Each child receives two drops of vaccine under their tongue and this task is repeated for several years to build up immunity. In the poorest areas where there is little effective hygiene this process has proved incredibly successful. Parents are all too aware of the dreadful consequences of contracting polio and the majority are delighted that their children can be vaccinated – the children are less happy but generally enjoy receiving a small toy! Amazingly this painstaking task has resulted in 99% take up and the disease is almost eradicated. From next year the Indian government will be building medical centres so that children can be vaccinated in properly designed facilities and hopefully continuing the programme to the desired 100% eradication.
Veronica and Adrian told us that they really enjoyed their involvement despite the somewhat primitive conditions and they certainly deserve congratulations for all the effort over many years. Club members thanked them and presented a cheque to help them continue their voluntary work. The photo shows Adrian and Veronica with club members Michele Bennett and Pat Oldcorn.