The over 20 year battle against Polio worldwide, of which Rotary International has played a leading role, has unfortunately, in the last month of so received a major but hopefully short-term, serious blow to its operations in Pakistan.
This country, together with Afghanistan and Nigeria, are the only places in the whole world where Polio is a health risk. The immunisation programme - two drops of vaccine administered on the tongue by international volunteers, including people from Britain - has been halted, due to the fact that in Pakistan, in two separate incidents, the medical teams have been murdered by terrorists.
Unable to win the backing of the local population by reason, education, or free elections, these murderers have resorted to this action in an attempt to gain control. The reason they give; the Polio vaccine is an attempt by the western world to sterilise Muslim children.
On a happier note, this week marks two years with no Polio cases reported in India. A country of over 1.5 billion people. It was said years ago, it could not be done. It has and March Rotary Club is proud to be a part of the struggle.
Rotary Club of March