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Last Weeks Speaker 
SL Rotary Scrivenors Report Nov. 15 meeting, SLCC
 

This was a very special program, with PDG'sAI Bonney of Traverse City, and Gernot Runschke of Grand Haven present to provide a report on the progress of the Polio Plus program of Rl and the consortium of partners involved in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, plus other fragile eradication countries. First, Pres. John Nash announced that SL Rotary, as a Club, has pledged a grant of $1500 to Rl to help fund the needed $450 Million that all Rotary Clubs will try to raise over 3 years to fund the eradication efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Overall this is a $3.7 Billion effort involving Rl and its clubs, the Wm. Gates Foundation, CDC, UNICEF, WHO and other donors. Lots of effort to bring Polio to a halt forever. Through the past 30 year efforts, Polio is eradicated in most of the world, except the mentioned countries. Even Nigeria is now very close to being polio free, so other than the remaining two countries where the battle is still being waged, the world is a better place for all without the debilitating impact of polio.

As the process of eradicating polio has advanced, it has taught health care providers how to address difficult virus and bacterial diseases, such as Measles, Lupus, and Ebola. All are spread by people, conditions, and ignorance. As people become educated as to the effects on humans of disease, the ability to control the spread of disease, only misinformation and ignorance of conditions still permit certain diseases to spread. For example, Polio is only carried by the human genome. The disease requires a human carrier to spread, and when the last polio virus is killed, there is no spreading of the disease. It can reoccur in the wild if a carrier (human) spreads by lack of sanitation and accident the virus into water consumed by humans, or air breathed from another human, and that is why children are given the vaccine (usually Sabine) by oral sugar cube administration, as that is a rapid way to immunize a large number of people in a short time. The Salk vaccine, which is a dead polio virus, has to be injected by needle and it takes much longer to process a large group of people. It was recounted that many of us first received in the 1950's the initial Salk vaccine, and then in early 1960's were administered by edible sugar cube the Sabine vaccine. Those present were told true statements of families, including some Rotarians, who had polio victims before the effective eradication of the polio virus in the USA by the late 1990's.

At present all continents in the world are polio free except SE Asia. There are nearly 100 new cases of polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2019 however in 1989 there were over350,000 new cases of polio. In the two SE Asia countries there are nearly 500,000 new births each year, so there is risk of polio for those who are not vaccinatect. PDG Al explained that there is a cultural and religious mistrust in those countries and the method to resolve it is face-to-face contact with knowledgeable local leaders and health care providers and the tribal leaders and residents of the remote villages where anti-vac sentiments are strong. Sending the people who know the need to eradicate polio to the areas where there is sentiment against the vaccine can be dangerous, expensive and time consuming. That is the main reason for the high cost and when the children of the areas are safe and no longer coming down with polio, the word of mouth as to the helpfulness of the vaccine seems to emerge. Recent leadership changes in the two still infected countries have not helped the efforts to vaccinate, along with factional fighting among tribes creating a deadly landscape for health care workers.

The challenges of total eradication include the need to inoculate all newborns as soon as medically possible, locating all children in the remote areas of the countries, Building a Fire-Wall between the wild virus and children, and being aware of the cultural aversion in many areas to a vaccine. Showing local populations the benefit of polio free children, along with helping to provide vaccines to fight measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, and similar common childhood ailments is where the breakthrough on childhood healthcare begins to be noticed, regardless of race or religion. The service providers have a difficult time keeping the vaccines viable because of the temperature changes, distance carried, and lack of sanitary facilities. Notwithstanding, the eradication of Polio is in reach, and if polio is done killing and maiming children (primarily) the other childhood diseases stand a good chance of also being eradicated. Also, diseases that are mosquito born, such as malaria, are being held back by distribution on a mass scale, of mosquito netting over sleeping areas, along with clean water (thanks to plenty of volunteers from Rotary) and Children are now able to live to their potential rather than be stricken by a deadly virus or disease.

Note in the October and December Rotarian magazine the articles about Polio Plus efforts, Sustainability, and what has worked by efforts of Rotarians for clean water and disease abatement, and what has not worked. For the newer members of our Rotary Club, please feel free to discuss with our members Ginny Ryan, Barry Kram, Doug Heins and Kathy Hegedus the outreach efforts of our own club to help with various World Community Service projects over many years. Many of our own Rotarians have over the years participated in serving on projects involving clean water, educational facilities, health facilities, and food initiatives in areas all over the world. That is what our PDG's Al and Gernot became involved in for a lifetime of Service above Self! Thanks for the update and also for our members commitment to make the effort to eradicate polio happen soon..

Your Scribe, Tom Boven 

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11/22/19Bryan paulChris BurnsVillage Update
11/29/19 Thanksgiving - no mtg 
    
12/6/19Dave StockingChris RikerGHACF
12/13/19Chaz FisherRobin KieftSLHS Choir
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