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Rotary Club of Accra-Airport Raises Funds To Support Polio Eradication

Members of the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport gathered at a breakfast meeting in Accra on Thursday, October 20, 2022, to raise funds to support the eradication of poliomyelitis (polio) from Ghana.

They were joined by some members from the local and international communities who have been their key allies in the fight against the poliovirus over the last three decades.

The event dubbed 'Arise for Polio', proceeds from the exercise would be channeled into the Polio Plus Fund, a treasury of Rotary International through which Rotary funds operational costs such as transportation, vaccine delivery, social mobilization, and training of health workers and support surveillance activities.

Some of the invited guests made undisclosed cash donations while others pledged their commitment to contributing US$10.00 a month to help eradicate the polio virus from the country.

The fundraising exercise comes ahead of this year’s World Polio Day Celebration which would be held on October 24, 2022.

World Polio Day is celebrated with the prime objective of making the world polio-free. Celebrated on October 24, globally, the day is used to generate awareness towards the eradication of polio; to celebrate the efforts of health workers and volunteers committed to eradicating polio, and to raise the needed funds to ensure that every child gets immunized.

The President of the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, C. C. Bruce, who was represented by Past President Kofi Adu, in his welcome address, urged individuals and corporate bodies to make an impact in the communities they live and operate by making cash donations into the Polio Plus Fund.

The Program Manager for the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Akyianu, who represented the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, urged the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport to continue mobilizing more funds to support polio eradication in Ghana since the government recognizes their efforts.

We’ll never get tired

The Chairperson of the Ghana National Polio Plus Committee, PAG Nana Yaa Siriboe, commenting on the polio situation in Ghana said “we are close to eradicating polio and we need your help”.

She said Rotarians around the world are more than energized to ensure that the world is declared poliovirus-free.

“Rotarians will continue to mobilize financial resources across the length and breadth of the country and even beyond the jurisdiction of Ghana, to support the eradication of polio from the world. This is our commitment and we will never get tired of doing so”, she noted.

Peace and Stability are key to eradicating polio

The Country Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ms. Esther Kiragu, in her keynote address, said without peace and stability the goal of a polio-free world would never be achieved.

“The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that diseases are often no respecter of persons or international borders. Whereas at the same point the vaccination coverage in a country was almost 100% during peacetime, there have been cases of re-emergence of polio – and or lack of access to vaccination due to discrimination or conflict. Take the case of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular Goal 3 on good health and well-being is particularly relevant here. But so are all the other goals whether you talk about poverty eradication, zero hunger, reduced inequalities, climate action, or quality education – they are all interconnected and interdependent. Peace and stability is a prerequisite to enable the realization of these goals”, she noted.

The WHO Representative to Ghana, Dr. Francis Kasolo, in a solidarity message lauded Rotary International for being a key partner in the polio eradication effort, having committed financial and human resources towards mass vaccination campaigns globally over the years.

He also commended the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, and all its partners for the successful implementation of two rounds of immunization days (NIDs) using the novel oral polio vaccine type 2.

“This is a giant step in our collective effort to break the transmission of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) on the African continent”, he noted and further called for enhanced polio surveillance and proactive measures to address the polio outbreak in some countries in the world.

He pledged the WHO’s commitment and that of the UN agencies in Ghana to support the Government to rid of polio in Ghana.