Rotary group heads to Ethiopia to help end polio

Four Goldenites are about to embark on an arduous journey to help their fellow man through the Rotary End Polio Now initiative.

Four Goldenites are about to embark on an arduous journey to help their fellow man through the Rotary End Polio Now initiative.

Bill Braisher, Tracy Fedor, Greg Ehman, and his 13-year-old daughter Madison Ehman are leaving for Ethiopia on Halloween for a 10-day trip to help eradicate polio.

“Ethiopia still has cases of polio. It’s been declared polio free but they still have to continue for five years with vaccinations. This is a mission comprised of people from Canada and the U.S., and we’re going to remote villages to administer the vaccination program,” said Greg.

The vaccination consists of drops that have to be administered, ideally, every year for five years — which is why they have a five year commitment in Ethiopia despite it being declared polio free.

Greg’s wife, who has gone on Rotary trips in the past, had originally planned to go to Ethiopia, but stepped back to let her daughter go instead.

“My parents got the invitation, and my dad asked if I’d be interested in going,” said Madison. “It seemed like a really neat way to get involved with Rotary. I really like doing things with Rotary.”

Rotary has been involved in the eradication of polio since 1979 when they first took on a project to vaccinate more than six million children in the Philippines. In 1985 the organization launched PolioPlus, the first and largest internationally co-ordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative. It came with an initial pledge of $120 million.

“They made a decision that this was going to be their single focus, to eradicate polio around the world. Today there’s only three polio-endemic countries left, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria,” said Greg. “We’re down to the final push, but that’s also the toughest areas to get. Polio is still only a plane ride away. All it takes is a transmission of someone who has it from one country to another.”

The group will be meeting up with other Rotarians in Ethiopia, and will spend the first five days touring cities and partnering agencies, and the next five days in remote villages, going door to door to administer the vaccine.

And although this trip is dedicated to the eradication of polio, the local Rotarians are also taking the opportunity offer a different kind of help.

“We’re going to a developing country, and they don’t have the things that we have. So Golden Minor Soccer has donated all of their excess soccer jerseys. So we’re taking 216 soccer jerseys in various sizes. And the Golden Rotary Club has also donated 50 soccer balls. We’ll be giving those out,” said Greg.

 

Just Posted

RMI funding confirmed for another year

Discussion around how funding allocated needed, says Kimberley mayor

It’s playoff hockey time

Josh Lockhart looks at the first round matchup; Kimberley vs Fernie

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden Alpine Holiday

Widow of avalanche victim sues several guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

CP Rail train derailed near Field, B.C.

There was no threat to public safety and no injuries: CP Rail

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

B.C. Winter Games athletes work for gold in the last full day of competition

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadian’s to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kim Boutin named Canada’s flag bearer for closing ceremony

Two more medals for Canada, including the bronze in men’s hockey

Most Read