Polio Eradication on Commonwealth Agenda
The challenge of polio eradication was on the agenda at the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), held in Malta at the end of November.
The President of Rotary International (RI) K.R. Ravindran was in attendance, along with General Secretary of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and the heads of Government from Commonwealth countries, including Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, one of the world’s two remaining polio endemic countries.
It was recently announced that an additional $1.5 billion is required to combat potential outbreaks and complete eradication by 2019. The United Kingdom has pledged the continued financial commitment of £300 million, and with the unrelenting support of Rotarians and clubs across Great Britain and Ireland, eradication can be closer than ever.
In addition to the main CHOGM summit, the event also included a Youth Forum, which was attended by Chair of Rotaract Great Britain and Ireland Louise Moss and fellow Rotaracter Rachel Gerrish.
The Youth Forum aims to promote learning and cooperation between individuals from different countries and cultures, in order to develop consensus and make progress on the challenges facing young people in the world today.
A key campaigner in polio advocacy is Judith Diment, a member of Windsor St George Rotary Club, who worked extensively on activities for CHOGM and is the Rotary Representative to the Commonwealth.
In recognition for her work, which also includes being the UK National Advocacy Adviser for Polio, Chair of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force and a Member of the International PolioPlus Committee, Judith was presented with two awards at the recent RI Institute, pictured above.
These were the International Service Award for a Polio Free World and the Service Above Self Award, Rotary’s highest honour recognising Rotarians who volunteer their time and talents to help others.
Another section of Rotary to receive plaudits recently was The Rotary Foundation, which has been acknowledged as among the Top 10 Charities Changing the World in 2015 by Charity Navigator, based on charities’ financial health, accountability and transparency of reporting.
Although polio eradication is a large focus for The Rotary Foundation, its work spans far more broadly to include tackling other global challenges and humanitarian issues at home and abroad.
Published: 11th December 2015