Wednesday 24 October 2012
ShelterBox supports the End Polio Now dayImage courtesy of Rotary International/Rich Wainright. Polio vaccinators find and immunise children wherever they are – whether at brick kilns, in transit trains, boats or motorcycles.
Rotarians around the world are celebrating 24 years today since the End Polio Now initiative began.
Originally started with the aim of eradicating all global cases of Polio, through the awareness and fundraising efforts of the Rotary network and its partners and the implementation of an intense vaccination programme, what followed was nothing short of monumental: 24 years later and Rotary has raised more than US$1 billion dollars and committed countless volunteer hours to fighting the disease. There are now only three countries where the wild poliovirus has not been stopped Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
However although global cases of polio have declined rapidly since 1985, the fight is not over. It is feared that if polio is not eradicated now then the disease could rebound to 10 million cases in the next 40 years.
ShelterBox has encountered polio in many forms during deployments over the years. In August 2011, ShelterBox was responding to the need for aid for vulnerable families in refugee camps in Ethiopia when the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) working in the region met Aodo Rno Absher a 17-year-old orphan who lived with her sister and two brothers. Aodo and her sisters and brothers were forced to flee from Somalia because of the famine and drought in the region at the time. Aodo suffers from polio, which made living in the harsh conditions of the camp even more difficult. ShelterBox were able to provide a disaster relief tent for Aodo’s family alongside 1,600 more ShelterBoxes, which were distributed in Ethiopia to families in need of somewhere safe and sheltered to live.
ShelterBox supports the End Polio Now campaign and would like to congratulate Rotary International and it’s partners on a successful 24 years of campaigning.
In 2012, ShelterBox became Rotary International's first project partner. This agreement enables the two organisations to collaborate more closely to bring relief and temporary shelter to survivors of disasters worldwide.