Friday, June 14, 2024

Rotary Ethiopia rallies to kick polio out through creative charity event


Rotary Ethiopia unveils the Imagine Rotary Art Exhibition district wide charity event with the theme ‘End Polio for Good’ on February 23, 2023 at the Alliance Ethio-Française.
The exhibition which commemorates the establishment of Rotary International some 118 years ago in 1905 by Paul Harris, showcases 70 pieces of paintings from 19 local artists from different mediums with the aim of raising funds to eliminate polio for good. The exhibition will remain open from February 23 to March 4, 2023.
The exhibition was opened by Rotary District 9212 Governor Azeb Asrat and guest of honor Rigbe Gebrehawaria, Commissioner for Disability Rights and Rights of Older People at the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

“As wild polio virus type 1 outbreak in parts of Africa remains a huge threat, the beginning of this year, saw several cases of circulating vaccine derived polio virus type 2 in Democratic republic of Congo Algeria, Niger and Central African Republic,” explained Teguest Yilma, Rotary, National Polio Plus Committee Chair and organizing team leader, adding, “Today, Ethiopia too is faced with ongoing poliovirus (cVDP2) outbreaks in many parts of the country, and is considered as very high risk due to sharing contagious borders with infected areas.”
“It is very critical that we work collectively to rapidly address these outbreaks and push forward the message of consistent high-quality immunization against polio,” sensitized the committee chair whilst highlighting that such fund raising events are integral in the fight against polio.
“The exhibition will help to raise awareness about Rotary’s effort to end polio for good by mobilizing all relevant stakeholders in the final push to eradicate the disease once and for all,” said Azeb Asrat speaking at the opening ceremony which was attended by a variety of guests, including diplomats, GPEI partners, Rotarians and Rotaractors.
“We have much work to do. Our goal of ridding the world of the disease is closer than ever. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent,” the Rotary District 9212 Governor further added.
Sharing her experience as a polio survivor, Rigbe, who is also a consultant on polio eradication, championed for equality for polio survivors, “Polio is a deadly disease that paralyses children. The survivors in our community should not be alienated due to their disability but rather should be given equal opportunities and equal treatment.”
As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has been working for more than three decades to eradicate this illness, which is one of its top humanitarian priorities. To date, enormous progress has been made in reducing the number of cases of polio globally by 99.9% and in eliminating the disease from all but Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years spending over 2.1 billion dollars across multiple projects.
The opening event was attended by a variety of guests, including diplomats, Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners. otarians and Rotaractors

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