After our morning meeting at Kapolei High School, Marienne, Donna and Arlene helped with preparing books to be sent to an elementary school in the Philippines. The school, Santa Barbara elementary will use the books to teach kids from 1st to 6th grade English and reading comprehension. Books were donated to the Rotary Club 0f Kapolei from a library in Kaneohe. These books were slated to be thrown into the dumpster never to be used again.
Thank you Marienne, Arlene and Donna for your hard work in getting books to children in the Philippines.
Our meeting this week special guest was Past Distrct Governor Win Schonomen. The highlight of his visit was the presentation of the Rotary Club of Excellence award banner to the Rotary Club of Kapolei for the year 2019.
Other awards were also given to Past President Natasha Clarin and to Past Assistant Governor Christina Enoka for their hard work and dedication to Rotary.
Thank you Win for presenting us with this prestigious award!
Rotary is giving US$100 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.
The funding comes as Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) address the final—and most pressing—challenges to ending poliovirus transmission, and as Nigeria approaches three years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus, bringing the Africa region closer to polio-free status.
“We have the wild poliovirus cornered in the smallest geographic area in history, and now there are just two countries that continue to report cases of the wild virus,” said Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. “As we work with our partners to apply innovative new strategies to reach more children, and embrace lessons learned thus far, Rotary is doubling down on our commitment to end polio for good. I’m optimistic that the end of polio is within our grasp, but we must remain vigilant in rallying global political and financial support as we push towards a polio-free world.”
While there were only 33 cases of wild poliovirus reported in 2018, the last mile of eradication has proven to be the most difficult. Barriers to eradication–like weak health systems, insecurity, and mobile and remote populations–must be overcome. As long as a single child has polio, all children are at risk, which underscores the need for continued funding and commitment to eradication.
To support polio eradication efforts in endemic countries, Rotary is allocating half the funds it announced today to: Afghanistan ($16.3 million), Nigeria ($10.2 million), and Pakistan ($25.2million). Additional funding will support efforts to keep vulnerable countries polio-free:
Democratic Republic of the Congo ($9.5 million)
Ethiopia ($2.6 million)
Iraq ($6 million)
Kenya ($6.3 million)
Mali ($1.2 million)
Somalia ($1.4 million)
South Sudan ($1.2 million)
Syria ($1.7 million)
Yemen ($2.1 million)
The World Health Organization (WHO) will receive $1.3 million to conduct research, and will also receive support for surveillance activities in its Africa ($10.9 million) and Eastern Mediterranean ($4 million) Regions.
Rotary has committed to raising $50 million a year to be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amounting to $150 million for polio eradication annually. Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to fight the disease, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication program, PolioPlus, in 1985. In 1988, Rotary became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Gates Foundation later joined. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018.
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit Rotary.org and endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.
Rotary clubs blanket Brazil with polio and measles vaccinations
Members help reverse trend of plummeting immunizations by reaching 11 million
Rotary clubs in Brazil mobilized to help stave off a potential polio outbreak after dangerously low vaccination rates were reported by health officials last year. More than 11 million Brazilian children were inoculated during a massive two-month vaccination campaign, reversing a trend of plummeting immunization coverage.
The government said more than 300 cities in the country had low rates of vaccination against diseases such as influenza, measles, and polio. The Ministry of Health called the situation “extremely serious.”
Measles were spreading in an outbreak that eventually sickened more than 1,500 people in Brazil. Health officials worried that poliovirus could also re-emerge. Brazil’s massive national immunization campaign from 6 August to 28 September aimed to vaccinate at least 95 percent of children ages one to five.
The measles cases were concentrated in the northern states where thousands of Venezuelan refugees have crossed the border to escape economic and political hardships. Many haven’t been immunized, because Venezuela’s health system is in crisis.
Rotary leaders in Brazil found the possibility that poliovirus could resurge frightening, said Marcelo Haick, a regional coordinator for Rotary’s End Polio Now initiative. They knew they had to help health workers reach the millions of children who might be vulnerable to the paralyzing disease.
“The campaign was a success,” says Haick, a member of the Rotary Club of Santos-Praia in São Paulo state. “To our great surprise, clubs throughout the country responded in a way unlike anything we have ever seen.”
More than 11 million children were vaccinated during the initiative, reaching the government’s goal of 95 percent coverage, the target recommended by the World Health Organization.
According to Haick, every Rotary club in the country participated in the campaign in some way.
Clubs and districts promoted the vaccinations. A majority of clubs, says Haick, produced leaflets and distributed them at schools and at busy street crossings.
Some used other methods to draw attention to the cause:
The International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians rode through the city of Jundiaí, São Paulo, with End Polio Now banners attached to their motorcycles.
Dozens of clubs held End Polio Now vaccination festivals, which included food, entertainment, local celebrities, games — and oral polio vaccine drops. Health officials vaccinated the children who attended.
Clubs installed lighted signs along major highways.
At a major football game, club members in District 4670 took the field during intermission to display a huge End Polio Now banner. Clubs across the country used other sporting events, including bicycle races and marathons, to promote the vaccinations.
Haick and other End Polio Now coordinators encouraged clubs to adopt vaccination centers. Clubs were also encouraged to contact local politicians and health officials at these centers.
Clubs used Facebook and other social media platforms to post informational ads.
Districts and clubs used trucks to announce information about the vaccination campaign at major social and cultural events and in high-risk communities.
Pedro Durão, another End Polio Now coordinator, says Rotary’s awareness campaign was widespread. “It was a mass adoption,” he says. “It was gratifying to see the work done by the clubs and districts throughout Brazil. I’ve been in Rotary since 1991 and have never seen such great enthusiasm.”
Rotary leaders in Brazil hope the success of this effort can inspire clubs and districts, not only in their country but also in others that are at risk of a resurgence of polio, to continue to raise awareness of the importance of polio immunization and other potentially lifesaving vaccinations.