If this headline looks familiar, great!! That means you leafed through your May Rotary magazine and noticed the story on page 60 under the “our clubs” section of the magazine. If the story remains unread, then stay with this message today. We can save you the time of finding the magazine!
Essentially the story goes like this: A delegation of Rotary International leaders from around the world traveled to Pakistan in February to meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan, his cabinet ministers that also included his national polio eradication coordinator, Rana Safdar. The result of this meeting saw Pakistan acknowledge recent challenges in efforts to rid their country of polio and confirm that polio eradication is now among their highest priorities. Army Chief of Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa assured the Rotary delegation of the support and cooperation of both the army and civil forces to ensure that every child in Pakistan receives the lifesaving polio vaccine. Forty million children were vaccinated during Pakistan’s last round of national polio immunization. During their visit the Rotary representatives also met with Rotary leaders from Pakistan, home to 230 Rotary clubs and nearly 40,000 Rotary members. 
The Rotary magazine story dovetails well with a late February infomercial that our Foundation Polio Plus committee shared with you about a three-member Pakistan Rotary vaccination team at a busy toll plaza in Kohat, Pakistan.
The infomercial: Outfitted in blue Rotary vests and flanked by armed military personnel, the Rotary vaccinators approach a white van as it pulls away from the scattered stream of traffic. One worker leans toward the driver to ask a question as another reaches into a cooler to prepare the vaccine. Among the crush of passengers in the van, they identify one child who has not yet been vaccinated. He is quickly inoculated with two drops of oral polio vaccine, and his pinkie finger is stained with purple ink to indicate that he’s received his dose. He cries as the vaccinator hurriedly passes him back through the window. The van speeds off, fading back into the dizzying hum of traffic, as the vaccinators look for the next car and child.
In Pakistan, home to almost all of the world’s polio cases just a few years ago, these moving targets require a vaccination strategy as agile and stubborn as the virus itself. At hundreds of sites, teams of health workers verify that every child passing through receives the vaccine.
The combination of these two stories are wonderful news. If the Pakistan government is able to sustain their promise to eradicate polio in their country, can Afghanistan, the other of the last two countries that have yet to declare themselves polio free, be far behind? It seems that we are a bit closer to a world without polio. This is positive news! Humanity has the strength to persevere and win through teamwork. If you will suspend your hand with thumb and index finger a quarter inch apart you will see how close polio eradication is? Thank you for being a Rotarian.
The Rotary Foundation continues their teamwork with the World Health Organization and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund polio eradication.
Compiled by Don Klug, Foundation Committee Polio Plus coordinator