Archive for May, 2010

Minister of Health signs football in Mauritania …

May 31, 2010

This weekend sees the start of important NIDs, especially in West Africa from May 29 to June 1,2010. The ball was received by Mauritanian Rotarians on May 28  and the signing ceremony was coupled with the NID flagoff, as planned.

A highlight was when the football was taken on a visit to a kindergarten school where children (2 – 5 years of age) were shown the important link between getting vaccinated and playing football. This made a deep impression on the children…

To understand the joy and appreciation of healthy limbs!

The  flagoffff took place at Ryadh in Nouakchott, by the Minister of Health, Dr Cheik Ould Horma Babana, along with the Representatives of WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and other strategic partners. Below – presenting the ball to Partners and all the stakeholders during the NID flagoff.

The ceremony was in two stages. The children were first administered monovalent vaccines by the Minister and the dignitaries present.

Above: The Minister of Health (Centre) Dr Cheik Ould Horma Babana gives the drops, assisted by a Doctor and Who Representative Dr Cisse.

The KPOA ball was then signed by the Minister of Health (below) and presented to all in the presence of dignitaries with the KPOA banner as the ideal backdrop. The NID started with 1740 teams deployed in the 53 districts to immunise children under 5 years of age. Independent monitoring, now a part of the campaign to improve the quality of NIDs , has already started.

 Mr hristian koog, UNICEF Representative also lends a hand to administer the drops..
A footballmatch did take place under the auspices of the National Football Federation, but due to logistical reasons, the ball could unfortunately not be presented.
The ball is on its way  to Mali…

“Kick-off” of crucial NIDs in West Africa …

May 29, 2010

Today, Saturday, May 29, marks the start of crucially important NIDs, particularly in West Africa. As the balls travels through its final stops of Mali,  Niger, Nigeria and Chad in the next two weeks (with the final exit event in Egypt), the ball will boost support for these massive synchronised immunisation campaigns in every country to immunize children under the age of five.

Social mobilization is ongoing in all the Counties through radio announcement and inter-personal communications. The main thrust of social mobilization this round is Interpersonal communication (IPC) using peer educators who are going house to house to mobilize parents and care-givers. Town criers in all towns and villages are announcing polio messages in various local languages.


This weekend, the ball is en route to Mali …

Polio eradication unites African countries … We will win!

May 29, 2010

This was the message conveyed by The Minister of Health and Prevention, Mr Modou Daigne Fada of Senegal, when he received the Rotarian delegation warmly and generously, at his office, along with his Cadres in the afternoon of May 26, and duly signed the ball. He also invited Rotarians to push to make a declaration that “African children must have the power to walk and run fast”. He invited Rotarians to take this stand loud and clear to catch up on time lost.
Assistant Governor Aristide Tino Adédiran (seated to the left of The Minister) who coordinated events to cover the unscheduled visit of the ball in Senegal ahead of the imminent NIDs writes:  “Rotarians received the ball with great pleasure and enthusiasm symbolizing their engagement to Kick Polio out of the World!”

Hotel Pulman Terangta was the venue (from 18:30 – 20:00) for a strategically important press conference, under the watchful eye of the Minister of Health and Prevention. Two TV channels and 3 FM Radio Stations were present. Rotarians had the opportunity to make a statement regarding the polio initiative, reinforcing polio eradication as Rotary’s #1 goal in its strategic plan. A world without polio. This goal that is very much realizable with infallibable mobilization. it is our promise to the children of the world.

After verifying the ball  as the original (the Minister, being a keen sportsman himself, wanted to keep the ball) it was “Bon Voyage”.  Rotarians shared their wish that the FIFA 2010 World Soccer  is won by an Africa team …

Next stop: Mauritania …

Ivorian Head of State signs ball and pledges US$36 000 for polio eradication …

May 22, 2010

On Monday, May 17 President Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivorian Head of State, signed the Ball, at the same time pledging two houses as headquaters for Rotary clubs of Cote D’Ivoire and 20 000 000 FCFA (about 36 000 USD) for polio eradication for the Rotary Foundation.

NPPC Chair Marie-Irene Richmond-Ahoua (seen above) says “that this  is the third time that President Gbagbo contributes for polio eradication. He offered 10 000 000 FCA in March 2003, 10 000 000 FCA in March 2007 and now the amount of 20 000 000 fcfa. Indeed, it is a great news.” There were no cases reported compared with 10 for the same period in 2009. Onset of paralysis most recent case: 09 August 2009.

Many Rotarians with Assistant Governor Adama Soro, PDG Pierre Yangni N’da, clubs presidents, Rotarians and representatives of WHO, UNICEF and the EPI manager of the Minister of Health attended the ceremony. The President of the Constitutional Council and the minister of Commerce (representing the minister of Health who is in Geneva now) were also present.

The Ivory Coast certainly celebrated the visit of the The “Kick polio out of Africa” soccer ball, a campaign spearheaded by the Reach Out to Africa Committee, in advance of the world cup in South Africa to help mobilise support of the massive synchronised vaccination campaign to vaccinate some 85 children on the continent of Africa in March, April, May and June 2010.

The ball arrived in Ivory Coast from Sierra Leone to a rousing welcome amidst a Gala Dinner held on Saturday, May 15 under the Pesidency of the Presidency of Pr Yao Ndre, the fouth highest personality of the country. WHO and UNICEF representatives also attended, a good many Rotarians and DHL. Seen below, Marie-Irene Richmond-Ahoua handing the ball to Pr Yao Ndre.

The ceremony on Sunday, May 16 celebrating the Kick Polio Out of Africa event was held in Treichville. A parade composed of drum majorettes, a band, horses and cars preceded a football match at the Anzoumana Konate Stadium in the Youbou Lambert quarters, ex Biafra quarter.

The parade was held to salute the arrival of the “international ball” against polio and especially to reinforce once more,  the necessity for children under the page of five to be vaccinated against this deadly virus. Ali Tierro the Treichville entertainment director was very happy with the ceremony in Treichville which is a miniature Ivory Coast.  He said that “Rotary has opened a door to the whole of The Ivory Coast”.

Next Stop: Mauritania, but we’re hoping for an unscheduled whistle stop in Senegal …

Sierre Leone scores a goal with well-timed NIDs …

May 20, 2010

The signing of the ball by the Hon.Vice-President Alhaji Sam Sumana of Sierre Leone in his office was no doubt a highlight, especially for the Rotarians who had organised the ceremony. Activities were concluded at the meeting of the RC of Sierre Leone on Thursday, May 13 after a very successful visit of this magical ball.

Rotarians are photographed here below with the Hon. Vice-President Alhaji Sam Sumana of Sierre Leone for the traditional signing of the ball. KPOA Coordinator President Emmanuel Thomas is positioned to the right of the Hon. Vice-President.

The arrival of the football in Sierre Leone on May 10, 2010 coincided with the final round of the country-wide vaccination campaign (NID) spearheaded by WHO, Unicef and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, with  good support from the Rotary club of Freetown. The ball was received by members of the Rotary Club of Freetown and the Deputy Resident Representative of WHO. The focal point for polio at the Ministry of Health & Sanitation came shortly after receipt of the ball.

Tuesday, May 11 was media day. This commenced with the President of the RC of Freetown taking part in a live TV interview where information in respect of polio and Rotary’s involvement was broadcast. This TV programme was repeated again, later the same day. “In addition, a Past President also took part in a live radio programme on the same theme” writes KPOA coordinator Emmanuel Thomas, President of the RC of Freetown. 

The press attache at the Vice-President’s office also issued a press release about the signing of the ball based, on the Rotary information provided.

There are only three Rotary clubs with a total of 82 members in Sierre Leone and they do outstanding work, particularly in the field of polio eradication. Only one case has been reported compared to (0) cases in the same period in 2009, with the onset of paralysis of the most recent case on February 28, 2010. The message is loud and clear. This is not the time for complacency. We need to stop the spread of this virus in its tracks and kick polio out of Africa.

Next Stop:  Abidjan, Cote D’ Ivoire …

The human cost of polio in Nigeria…

May 20, 2010

Click the image below to watch an amazing photo essay about polio survivors in Nigeria – the only African country that never completely eradicated polio…

Rotary recognises DHL Express for professional excellence …

May 19, 2010

Today, Rotary International President-elect Ray Klinginsmith presented DHL Express (DHL International (Pty) Ltd) with a certificate for exceptional professional achievement consistent with the ideals of Rotary in support of the Kick Out of Africa Campaign and the Rotary Dictionary Project. This was a joint initiative with Rotary District 9350.

Left to Right: Accepting the recognition on behalf of DHL Express at a lunch time meeting of the Sea Point Rotary Club in Cape Town, were Paul Salter (DHL CFO Sub-Saharan Africa) Rotary International President-elect Ray Klinginsmith,  Neil Kuschel (DHL Head of Commercial Sub-Saharan Africa) June Webber (project coordinator) and District Governor Mike Saxby (Rotary District 9350). DHL has shipped the ball through 18 of the 22 polio-affected countries on schedule – a remarkable achievement. The football which has been travelling since “kick-off” at the V&A Waterfront on February 23 will exit the continent of Africa on June 12 through Alexandria, Egypt.

Keeping Liberia polio free …

May 12, 2010

“Ensure your children are immunized against this crippling disease” urged the Miniser of Health and Social Welfare – Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale – at the signing ceremony that  took place at the G.W. Gibson High School, auditorium, some 2 hundred meters from the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare (MOH&SW) premises in Monrovia, on Friday May 7, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. 

The occasion was well attended by representatives of WHO and the United Nations families, Officials of Government, the Press, Rotarians and students. It was characterized by cultural and musical performances by the Crusaders for Peace and Cultural Troupe (right and below). 

The Crusaders for Peace have been a strong partner for the NIDS in Liberia in the area of social mobilization.

Speaking at the ceremony, the WHO Representative to Liberia, Country Representative, Dr. Nestor Ndayimireji, called for collaborative measures to fight against the spread of the disease.  The WHO boss noted that it requires efforts of all stakeholders including parents, to fight against the eradication of Polio in Liberia.  Dr. Ndayimireji stressed the need to kick polio out of Africa and called for the joint efforts of both the international and national partners for ensuring that the attention of the world against polio remains focused.  The global initiative is geared towards making sure that all children in Liberia and the world over, under five years are vaccinated, even if the child has been vaccinated before.

Handing the ball to MOH&SW Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, NPPC Chair, David Vinton gave a brief journey of the ball since February 23, 2010. He said that Liberia was the 16th of the 22 polio-affected countries in Africa through which the ball is expected to travel.  He handed the ball over to Minister Gwenigale who signed the ball.

Dr. Gwenigale stated that the symbolic act of using football is important because “we are going to kick polio out of Liberia”.  He said that Liberia was once certified as being polio free, but because of people’s misconception of the polio vaccine, this has caused polio to resurface in Liberia.  One case has been reported (compared with zero cases for the same period in 2009). Onset of paralysis of most recent case: 03 Mar 2010


Next stop:  Freetown, Sierre Leone  …

Polio survivors in Nigeria…

May 7, 2010

Watch the incredible footage of polio survivors in Nigeria:

You can read more about the amazing soccer team here.

Minister of Health provides strong support to eradicate polio in Burkina Faso and Africa!

May 5, 2010

“We hope that by joining our forces, we can eliminate polio from Africa”. This positive and supportive comment was written by the Minister of Health of Burkina Faso, Seydou Bouda, in the KPOA book after signing the football on Monday, May 3.  At the same time the Minister flagged the date of the important NID to commence in Burkino Faso on May 5. As of 21 April 2010, no new cases had been reported as compared to 15 cases of polio this time last year.

It was a proud moment for District Governor Simon Kafondo of D9100 (below) when he signed the football at the closing ceremony of the Rotary District Conference 9100 in Ouagadougou. The football was brought in ceremoniously to the Convention hall and presented to the Presidium.    The same ceremony was done at the gala dinner that night, where many who had missed the closing session, were present in a packed hall!

Jumping with jubilation at the thought of eradicating polio (Left) PDG Francois Amorin, DG Simon Kafondo RI Representative Jean Claude Hoareau and DGE Fattal celebrate the journey of the symbolic ball.

Below: Keeping an eye on the ball at the Gala Dinner …

National PolioPlus Committee Chairs provide valuable support coordinating events at grassroots level, with DHL providing efficient back up moving the ball in and out of each country.

Left:  NPPC Chair Ousmana Ouedrago receives the ball from DHL on arrival.


Next stop:  Monrovia, Liberia …