Polio Vaccinating in West Africa (March 26 & 27, 2016)
Rhinebeck Rotarian Bob Phillips, along with 23 other Rotarians from around the United States (and some from Canada and the United Kingdom) went to Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa in the summer of 2015—mission, prevent polio. As he told the RadioRotary co-hosts, the ten-day trip was the most memorable experience of his life, from the West African Fair to actually administering the two drops of polio vaccine to infants under five years old, the target group. Of course, this was part of Rotary’s PolioPlus project, which since 1988 has worked with UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the CDC to eradicate the disease, which was causing a thousand cases a week when they started. As a result of this effort, there were only 70 instances in all in 2015, all of them in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the disease essentially eliminated from the rest of the world.