BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh investigates how Rotary club members in Great Britain and Ireland helped India achieve its one year ‘polio free’ anniversary and their continued efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.
During his recent visit to India for a National Immunisation Day, Fergus visited some of the 7,000 impromptu vaccination booths across Delhi, several of them staffed by Rotary members of Rotary clubs from Great Britain.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17072769 (Copy and paste into Google or appropriate search engine)
Fergus’ TV report was aired -Monday 20 February 2012- at 1pm 6pm and 10pm on BBC News, with a special BBC Breakfast feature - Tuesday 21 February 6.40am. The reports will showcase a package he has recorded over the weekend showing Rotary’s work, people affected by polio and interviews with doctors.
http://www.ribi.org/news/ribi-news/bbc-highlights-rotary-s-final-polio-push (Again, copy and paste.)
One by one the young children open their mouths to receive the two drops of polio vaccine. Then they hold out their hand to get their "purple pinky" - one finger painted with indelible purple ink to show they've been immunised. Click on "Focus on the Crocus" on this page to see what Caterham Rotary Club has achieved in the last 2 years.
Some of the children try, and fail, to suck off the ink because they want to get another toy - some stickers, a balloon or pencil - as a reward for coming to the booth.
There are 7,000 impromptu vaccination booths across the capital. Across India, these regular National Immunisation Days aim to reach more than 170 million children under five - the group most at risk from polio. I'm here to witness India's successful fight against polio.
Several of the booths in Delhi are staffed by volunteers from Britain; they are all members of Rotary - the worldwide network of clubs of business and community volunteers.
The Rotary volunteers - wearing bright yellow shirts - attract a lot of attention. Veronica Stabbins, from Windsor in Berkshire, is here with her husband Adrian - they immunise around 200 children in two hours. Mohammad Zaid, left paralysed by polio as a baby, remains determined and hopeful about life
She said: "This is our third visit to India volunteering for Rotary. It is wonderful to be part of trying to eradicate this dreadful disease. When we go home we try to raise awareness of what still needs to be done."
Another Rotary member, Jenny Schwarz from Merseyside, said: "I've been raising money to fight polio for 25 years. My dream is to have a polio-free world." All the Rotary volunteers - there are more than 40 of them from Britain, and 500 from around the world - pay all the expenses of their trip and then often use the experience to do further fund-raising at home.
By Fergus Walsh
BBC Medical Correspondent
The link below is from BBC Breakfast Tuesday 21st February