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Funds, commitment and resolve
were the key variables in eradicating
polio, according to leading anti-polio
crusader and Rotary’s partner in the
End Polio Now campaign, Bill Gates, Jr.
In delivering the annual Richard
Dimbleby Lecture in London on
January 29, Gates addressed several
key issues in the fight against polio
and gave a definitive answer to the
question, “Is it still worth the effort to
“Polio doesn’t kill as many people
as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or
rotavirus,” Gates said. “It’s not even
close. So why should the world focus
on eradicating it?
“ There is no such thing, first of all, as
keeping polio at its current, low levels.
We have gotten to this point because
vaccinators are wading through
flooded rivers, developing-country
governments are investing scarce
resources, and the global health
community is on high alert. These
are not sustainable approaches. If we
don’t keep investing, cases will shoot
back up to the tens of thousands
annually in dozens of countries.
“Second, success will generate
lessons that benefit all of global
health. We are on the verge of doing
something we’ve never been able to
do before – reaching the vast majority
of children in the remotest places in
“We are building systems,
developing technology and training
workers that make it possible to help
people who never got any help. When
polio is gone, we can use the same
systems, technology and people to
deliver other lifesaving solutions,
especially routine vaccinations for
diseases like rotavirus and measles.”
“If the world supplies the necessary
funds, political commitment and
resolve, we will certify the eradication
of polio by 2018.”
Gates used the opportunity to
acknowledge the contribution of
Rotarians, among other partners in
the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
“ The one you wouldn’t expect is
Rotary International,” Gates said.
“Rotary is a service organisation
with 1.2 million members in almost
every country in the world, including
more than 50,000 in Great Britain
“Rotarians pledge to put Service
Above Self, their motto, but they have
no specific global health mandate.
They are not polio experts.
“ They are regular people who
go to work and spend time with
“For three decades, they have
also spent time advocating for
polio eradication, raising money to
support vaccination, and giving kids
polio drops all over the world.”
Applause for PolioPlus:
RDU’s request for comments about
remarkable women in Rotary made me
think about some of the remarkable
women in our club. Suddenly I
realised that everyone in our club is
remarkable, women and men. Our
club is remarkable for lots of reasons.
Putting pen to paper makes
me aware of our achievements.
Individually and as a club we want to
make a difference in the world. When
we reflect on what we have done we
know we have made a difference. Last
year we accomplished 45 projects in
the year. Each and every project was a
source of pride to us. No wonder then,
that we were judged by RI to be the
best medium sized club in our District
and in our Zone (i.e . the best medium
sized club within Australia, NZ, PNG,
Timor and the Solomon Islands).
What’s this to do with remarkable
women? Well, our club is 95 per cent
female! But it is not gender that makes
us remarkable, it is what we do.
Our club is constantly changing and
that, we believe, is the secret to our
success. We refuse to stand still. We
are determined to encourage younger
people to be part of our club and we
have offered flexibility of membership
to enable that to occur. We have no
doubt that the future of our club and
RI lies with youth. We listen to them,
we learn from them. We want youth
to be the heart and soul of our club.
We are adventurous, we lead, we
welcome challenges and we encourage
others. We are happy, funny, loving,
caring, astute business ladies. As
individuals we have our own strengths,
but together we are a mighty force.
We are wise! We are women!
Rotary Club of
Mt Warning A.M .,
WOMEN IN ROTARY
Gates dubs Rotary International
unexpected hero in polio eradication
Funds, commitment and resolve needed to
finish the job and honour heroes killed working
to eradicate polio
Prestigious lecture used to acknowledge
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