PM Trudeau urges Polio-free world in Rotary Convention in Toronto
Muhammad Ali Bukhari from Toronto: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasised in eradicating Polio disease fully among 24,000 attendees from 175 countries in the closing plenary session of the 109th Rotary International Convention of Rotary Clubs held in Toronto from June 23-27. He said, Canada has been a champion in the fight to eradicate Polio since 1986, when it became the first government to formally fund global polio immunization efforts. Canada has provided over CAD $750 million in support of a polio-free world, including a $100 million pledge to global eradication in 2017. Earlier this month, Canada, as host of the G7 summit, was joined by G7 leaders in affirming commitment to polio eradication.
For this acknowledgement of his government’s efforts to achieve a polio-free world, Rotary has presented Prime Minister Trudeau with its Polio Eradication Champion Award. While presenting this award, the Rotary International President Ian H. S. Riseley expressed that, ‘Prime Minister Trudeau has committed Canada to remain a strong partner until polio is completely eradicated’.
Later this week, Rotary will announce nearly $50.12 million in support for global polio eradication efforts in countries where polio is a threat. Since 1988, Rotary has contributed more than $2.3 billion and countless volunteer hours in the fight to end polio, with Rotary clubs in Canada donating more than $66.6 million towards polio eradication. Rotary members throughout Canada travel regularly to polio-threatened countries to vaccinate children in mass immunization campaigns. Polio eradication has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985. In 1988, Rotary became a leading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and later, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since its launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to just 22 confirmed cases in two countries in 2017.
This enormous success in eradicating Polio has also enlightened more 200 Rotary members attended from Bangladesh under present and future leadership of Governors, such as, Prof. Dr. Tayub Chowdhury, Khairul Alam and Mohammad Rubayat Hussain, along with revealing enthusiasm from other past Rotary governors.
Among other attractions, its Hall of Friendship had wide range of community and world understanding & peace exhibits, significantly 100 vintage car rally from China to Europe in making awareness on the plight of Polio, ‘Rise against Hunger’ driven by the vision of a world without hunger by 2030 by providing food to the world’s most vulnerable as well as multicultural festivities and presentation of 2019 Rotary Convention in Hamburg, Germany. Also, it had other pictorial Rotary service projects around the world in front of the Toronto City Hall, seems like its thematic aspiration, ‘Inspiration Around Every Corner’ reflected to its best.