Rotary District 3291, in association with D 5240 (USA), organised an International Polio Summit — Life after Polio — at Kolkata.
The event, chaired by Rotary International PolioPlus Committee Chair Michael McGovern, deliberated on topics such as Rotary’s efforts in eradicating the disease in the remaining three countries, challenges faced by our country to sustain the polio-free status and rehabilitation solutions for polio survivors.
Relaxing the immunisation practices may prove costly and dangerous as the polio virus lurking around the corner in our neighbouring countries may just find a way in, he said and shared instances of Rotary’s efforts worldwide to eradicate polio, including local challenges impeding Rotary’s initiative to completely eradicate the disease worldwide. The then DG Shyamashree Sen welcomed the delegates. RC Calcutta Metropolitan was the host club.
Decreasing the number of immunisation days may result in resurfacing of the virus which may be detrimental to the hard-won crusade; regular immunisation programmes should be continued, said INPPC Chair Deepak Kapur.
James Lewis, past president of RC Moorpark, D 5240 and PDG Ashok Agarwal, the two polio survivors, highlighted the need to rehabilitate such survivors to help them lead an independent, meaningful life. Vocational training and assistance in employment will give them a new lease of life, said Lewis.
The host club gave an account of the mega corrective surgeries camp that it had organised with the help of a global grant and presented a cheque for Rs 10,000 to the parents of the country’s last polio victim Rukhsar Khatun of Howrah, to help her education. The club members promised to extend financial support for the 11-year-old until her graduation.