Thursday was World Polio Day, a day where Rotarians all over the world are asked to redouble their efforts in helping to eradicate the disease from the face of the earth.
|Lucille Blumberg speaks and Graham Donet and Julian Nagy listen|
Lucille sketched the background of the polio eradication campaign and emphasised that Africa is now polio free, after the last remaining country, Nigeria, was declared so three years ago.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two remaining countries where wild poliovirus 3 is still present. There were 88 reported cases last year. In Pakistan the new prime minister, ex-cricketer Imran Khan, has made eradication a top priority of his government and agreed to spearhead the campaign himself.
|Lucille with Monica Kiwanuka, Zena Kimaro and Susan Kasango|
Lucille said Rotary and partner organisations such as the WHO and the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation had already spent more than $2 billion on vaccination and oversight campaigns and that this would continue.
She said that although South Africa had been declared polio-free after the last case was reported in 1988, the country had temporarily lost its status because of inadequate oversight. This has now been reversed.
|The official certificate|
The polio virus is transmitted from person to person through water and therefore most acute in areas with poor sanitation.
The most difficult phase for the total eradication of polio is still ahead, but Rotary International along with other organisations are determined to see the battle through.
|Susan Kasango talks about her life with polio|
She has spoken about her experiences all over the world and said her message is invariably that no-one can make you feel inadequate if you don't allow them to.
|Morningside Rotarians Denise Cruickshank, Jack Stroucken and Dr Brian Barron with President Judy Sligcher|
|DG Maurice Stander, President Judy Sligcher and President-elect Ian Widdop|
Terry Mackey, president of the club, said it was his first ever visit to New Dawn and that he and his members were happy to be a part of the meeting.
The members who visited were Terry, Jack Stroucken, Les Hudson, Brian Barrow, Richard Clowes and Denise Cruikshank.
|Paul Kasango, Karlien Kruger, Terry Mackey, Ian Widdop, Chris Stander and Maurice Stander|
|Jack Stroucken, Les Hudsonand Denise Cruikshank with PDG Jankees Sligcher|
|Graham Donet, Frank Odenthal and I at the meeting|
It's a project that fits in well with a number of our efforts and Ian has pledged to pursue it.
Amongst their "assets" is a group of 38 self-styled Gogos who help kids with reading, making them an ideal vehicle through which The Link can expand into townships.
|Karlien Kruger with Dr Nobs Motjuwadi of Copessa|
Karlien reports that it became clear to her that Copessa needs help with their strategy, process and structure and has undertaken to write a proposal for what she feels they need to be able to help them help themselves.
Members will remember that Dr Nobs addressed the club a while ago and made a great impression when she shattered a wine glass to illustrate the effect of abuse on children, homes and society at large.
|One of Copessa's projects delivers vegetables to Pick n Pay|
They have also established safe playgrounds for children, but are frustrated by vandalism aimed at these amenities.
|Quiz maestros Karlien Kruger, Paul Kasango, Joan and Graham Donet and Linda and I at the Rotary Club of Johannesburgs' Quiz Night|
The Quiz night was well attended and fun, in true Rotary fashion.
There will be time to catch our collective breath at the meeting this week and start finalising arrangements for all the upcoming events, chiefly the Golf Day on 8 November and the Christmas dinner on 4 December.
There's still much work to be done for the Golf Day as Mike MacDonald reminded us last week and we really do need more prizes and bottles of wine, spirits and beer for the barrow(s) of booze.
In the meanwhile, start thinking of what you can contribute to the Christmas/Festive Season Dinner in the form of décor, food or worthy items for the traditional auction.
A Thought for the Week: Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)