Committed to a polio free Ethiopia by 2011

Saturday – March 20, marked the arrival of this symbolic “ball” in Addis Ababa,  Ethiopia. A grand celebration on a glorious sunny day took place at the Open Garden of Ghion Hotel attended by His Excellency President Girma Woldegiorghis of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Dr. Kebede Worku State Minister, Federal Ministry of Health. Many high ranking Government Officials, African Diplomats, members of Rotary International Partners in the polio eradication initiative – the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF, CDC – and Core Groups attended, as well as polio victims – youths from Cheshire Services Ethiopia, soccer players, Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors.

Right: Post polio paralysis children from Cheshire Services Ethiopia present flowers to the President on his arrival. About 450 people were present at the event – all wearing Kick Polio Out of Africa t-shirts and caps. A bumper sticker with the KPOA message was given to all participants for their cars to promote the campaign.

A moving sight as Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors and children from Cheshire Services march to the President, holding the Ethiopian Flag, Kick Polio out of Africa and EPN banners singing – “Kick Polio Out of Africa and End Polio Now” in English and Amharic.

An exciting moment when DHL delivered “The ball” which was ceremoniously received by the Chair and members of the National PolioPlus Committee.

Chairman PDG Nahu-Senaye Araya, thanks Paul Harris Fellow President Girman for his continued support sharing the good news that … “In the last two years, no polio cases have been reported in Ethiopia. If all goes well during the coming year – Ethiopia will be declared a POLIO FREE COUNTRY in 2011”

His Excellency President Girma Woldegiorghis of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia signs the ball declaring his personal commitment … “We still have work to do, we haven’t finished the eradication of polio yet – we shall continue our commitment”.

Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, WHO Representative, who spoke on behalf of the Partners, then gave the ball to the polio victim youths of Cheshire Services Ethiopia saying: “Sorry we were late for you, but we will not let down your next generation”.

The celebration was approriately concluded after His Excellency the President and two polio victim youths immunised four children.

The historic ball restarted its long journey to Khartoum in the the Sudan on Monday 23 March, 2010.

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