Medford Sunrise Rotary Club announced it will organize a team of volunteers to participate in a National Polio Immunization Day in India in February.
Since 1988, Rotary’s PolioPlus Campaign has immunized almost 2 billion children around the world, reducing new cases of the dreaded polio disease by 99 percent.
One of the few polio endemic countries is India, and Rotary, in partnership with the World Health Organization and UNICEF hold annual National Immunization Days during which every child at risk in the entire country is immunized in a single day. As many as 144-million children a day have been given the oral polio vaccine in recent years.
“No experience is necessary,” said club president David C. Forward. “We use oral polio vaccine, so training will be given, but it’s simply a case of placing two drops in a child’s mouth, and that’s it. That child will not become paralyzed; that mother will not see her child die from polio. It will be a life-changing experience.”
The one-week trip will include visits to the Taj Mahal and Jaipur’s Red Fort, along with the actual NID and “mop-up” visits the following day to villages where children might have missed the NID.
The Medford Sunrise Rotary Club also launched its Pennies for Polio campaign, with the goal of collecting one million pennies — $10,000 — which will be sufficient to buy enough vaccine to protect 40,000 children.
“We have collection cans at several area businesses,” said Al Finkelstein, the club’s Rotary Foundation director. “Local citizens have already made donations far exceeding a penny in our cans at Cornerstone Bank, Cattell’s Vacuums, Lechner Funeral Home or Weichert Realtors.”
Medford Sunrise Rotary Club is New Jersey’s fastest-growing Rotary club. The club meets at 7:15 a.m., every Wednesday, at the MedPort Diner and welcomes guests and potential members.
“Our members are dedicated to making the world a better place — one community at a time,” Finkelstein said. “This is going to be the Medford area’s gift of life to the children in India. We welcome anybody who would like to contribute — or go on the trip — to make dreams come true.
For more information, contact Finkelstein at 714–1455 or Forward at 354–8104.