Monday February 06, 2023

Rotary International president hopes to ensure polio-free world by end of 2023

By Our Correspondent
August 07, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Visiting President of Rotary International Jennifer Jones has said that Rotary, along with partners, has increased its emphasis on polio eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan and hopes to make the whole world free from the menace by the end of 2023.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has given the task to nations that polio must be eradicated by the end of 2023 but, unfortunately, 14 cases in a day in Pakistan and Afghanistan were reported. She declared that Rotary International and other partners knew how to deal it and treat it.

She was briefing a select group of media persons on the contribution of Rotary International in the human development sector across the country on Saturday. Director of Rotary International Mohammad Faiz Kidwai, Trustee of Rotary Foundation Aziz Memon, District Governor Adnan Rohaila and Media Coordinator Imran Gaznavi was also present on this occasion.

Jennifer Jones, president of Rotary International, said that Rotary was working in more than 200 countries of the world; its 1.4 million members are constantly striving to improve the lives of their communities

and the people of their countries.

“In Pakistan, we have projects on sanitation, clean drinking water, basic education and literacy, maternal and child healthcare, peace development, economic development, women empowerment and environment”, she added.

Citing the example of one of the projects, she said that in Karachi they inaugurated a water filtration plant operated by a female and also visited basic educational schools. Such kinds of projects, she said, were sustainable with the involvement of local females. They (females) also felt ownership and empowerment. She said this kind of project was the hallmark of sustainable human development.

Jones said Rotary was constantly trying to improve people’s lifestyle and economic situation through welfare projects. Rotary has rendered valuable services in Pakistan, now it is time to start new welfare projects with a new commitment from the platform of Rotary in Pakistan.

Rotary has contributed towards the eradication of polio from the world. Rotarys PolioPlus investment in Pakistan for polio eradication is US$353.8 million and overall it’s global contribution has been around US$2.5 billion. Rotary is committed to keep contributing until the world becomes polio-free, she said.

The RI president said that Rotary members believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. “We provide service to others, promote integrity and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.”

She said Rotary was dedicated to causes that build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world. She emphasized Rotarians all over the world were involved in projects in seven areas of focus, which includes peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; community economic development and environmental sustainability and climate change.

Appreciating the remarkable performance of Rotary in Pakistan in the event of natural disasters, she said that be it a earthquake situation or flood disasters, Rotary has always stepped forward and played a full role in providing immediate relief to the victims and their rehabilitation. Rotary Pakistan has distributed around 25,000 shelter boxes/ tents, donated by Rotary in the UK.

The RI President said “Rotary Jo Goth ‘’ was the best project for the rehabilitation of victims of the earthquake in Pakistan, in which 160 houses along with a sustainable infrastructure was built and given to the underprivileged and homeless victims with ownership rights. She also appreciated Rotary’s role towards the Total Literacy and Quality Education where almost each of the 500 clubs in Pakistan are involved in eliminating illiteracy from Pakistan. She was also appreciative of the 2,500 congenital heart surgeries jointly undertaken for children in Pakistan and India.

The project of artificial limbs under Rotary in Pakistan is also performing significant services. Under this project, disabled people are enabled to play an active role in society. Similarly, Rotary is also doing significant services in the field of education.

“There is a need for many more such projects in the country,” she declared.